On the day we left Bolivia I got a tattoo of a queen bee on my arm. It was the third in a series of images I had placed on my arm with indelible ink over the course of one year. My first tattoo is a black lace butterfly. The middle one is a dragonfly. My bee is on top. I imagine there will come a day when the sleeve is complete with hexagonal honeycomb, a beetle or two, and leafy filigree. For now, I am content with my winged trinity.
On my last day in Bolivia I got a bee tattoo
My winged trinity … and my sweet niece
Fourteen months after the acquisition of the bee, I find myself on my college campus listening to an entomologist give a lively lecture about bees. Dr. Roe doubles as my Anatomy and Physiology professor. She does a fine job teaching about the human body, but her passion for insects is quite evident. The discourse came about as an initiative of the garden group. Permission was granted by one of the leading Sisters of College of Saint Mary for us to run a beehive on campus starting next Spring. This will be a thrill!
Did you know that bees undergo metamorphosis in a cocoon? I didn’t. This fascinates me. Cocoons have been a reoccurring theme in my life over the last few years. I leaned in to study the images on the slide as she explained the three week transformation of egg, to larva, to pupa, to fully formed bee. The egg is laid by the queen. It hatches and is fed by nurse bees. As a larva it grows and fills up it’s six-sided cradle. Then the bees come along and cap the capsule, sealing the larva inside. What happens before the fully formed bee breaks out of this cocoon astounds me.
Did you know that inside its cocoon the bee becomes liquefied? All the cells, organs, and features that allowed that larva to eat and grow break down. “Gradually the pro-pupa becomes little more than a bag containing a nutrient rich soup,” according to this video demonstration of the process: Bee metamorphosis: remarkable internal changes. Do you grasp the sheer absurdity of this fact? The construct of a wriggling little structure becomes liquid.
Then comes the reconfiguration. In that tiny, dark, soupy cocoon, the liquid swishes around to reconfigure and reshape into a pupa. It grows legs and hair. It’s brain and DNA formulate to give the little creature an instruction manual and purpose of life. The pigmentation of yellows, browns, and golds appear from that milky goo. It’s eyes bulge. Fragile wings grow which will allow that bee to survive and soar.
My eyes welled with tears. I am in a cocoon stage of life. This liquefied stage of a bee’s life spoke to me. In this darkness, safely capped off by my community, it’s okay if I melt. It’s okay, for this time, to submit to the reconfiguration process. It’s okay to feel like I am drowning for a little bit… because that will pass. My life is getting reorganized. I will emerge from this cocoon, resplendent and ready to fly.
For now, I need to be in a cocoon like a bee in a cocoon.
Patterns can be deciphered only after the passage of time. We hear beauty in music because we anticipate repetition, as well as remember what came before.
My life used to be driven by goals, small objectives to reach those goals, and problem solving along the way until those expectation boxes could be checked. My eyes fixed forward rarely glanced to the sides and abhorred what laid behind. I rushed ahead at breakneck speed.
Recently, like over the past five years, I have started to value awareness over accomplishment and affection over ambition. In this new way of looking at things I have loosened my grip on accusatory tendencies (both towards myself and those around me) and moved in the direction of unconditional acceptance of all people, including myself. I began to open my vision to more than only what lies ahead, but also to who walks beside me, and occurrences from my past informing my present reality.
Goals are good, but they are only part of all the good in this life.
Accomplishments help people, but they are not the only thing that help people.
Driven people, such as myself, sometimes get a lead foot. It serves us well, at times, to slow down and even stop the car.
Thanksgiving morning I sat in bed doing one of my favorite “slowing down” things: writing and doodling with a pencil in my notebook. As of late my prayers have become provincial and sporadic. Journaling moments have become as prayer for me. Even the drawings are my heart spilled out for my God to hear. He understands. I believe. That morning my thoughts and “prayers” turned to employment in the Sates.
For this fresh start to work we both need to work. I knew that was one of the stipulations we agreed on as we talked through the decision. I wasn’t worried or anxious. I knew, though, that with only my lonely little high school diploma to present to future bosses I had to fill out a resume with life experience stuff. I also needed to be open to any kind of job that came my way. I had puttered around with putting on paper my past positions and dates of employment. I had done a few searches online to see what was out there in Omaha.
On Thanksgiving morning I made a list of what kind of job I would like to work when we get to the States. The basic gist of the list is this:
“I want to do something I enjoy with people I get along with and get paid for it.”
Reductive living is the name of game at this stage, my friends. I scratched a few more thoughts on the page about weekday hours which allowed time for study. I also noted the idea of working within a creative, purposeful team for a company which was upstanding in the community.
It felt insignificant and ho-hum at the moment. The day progressed with much merry making and lots of fun with a few other families gathered together to eat, give thanks, and play games. I got home late at night. After the little kids were put to bed I sat down to check on my friends who live inside my computer.
One of the messages stopped me completely. The brakes were full on, folks. I read and re-read to comprehend the words on the screen. I cried as I remembered my morning “prayers”.
A job offer!
It felt as though God slipped his arm around my shoulders and whispered in my ear, “Here you go; you don’t have to give up.”
See, the thing is, there was part of me that was grieving the giving up of a missionary life. We are coming off the field. We are seeking stability. Even my Isaac-like life as a missionary had to be put on the altar. I see the necessity of going to the States. It just makes me sad for so many reasons, and this was one of them.
This unsolicited job offer came from an organization fighting human trafficking in South East Asia!
It came from a dear friend, Laura Parker. We met about five years ago through our blogs. I was the first person who came to her mind when the position was being made. The job is Communications Manager doing the online stuff of: the bloggers community, facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc. It’s a part time gig.
They want to pay me, too! Where do I sign?
Me officially accepting the job I start January 5th, even before we get to the States. I am so excited!
This gift came to me on Thanksgiving and I have not stopped giving thanks for it. I am so humbled to be invited to be a part of this phenomenal team empowering rescue and fighting to end modern day slavery.
When I sat down with my children to tell them about this new job I used my words carefully. “I will be helping an organization who operates in Asia to legally shut down places where people have women and children as slaves. These slaves are forced to do things with their bodies that they do not want to do. Using online connections I will help people get the word out so more people will join in to help free those slaves.”
One of the kids said, “So basically your job is a super hero.” I have such great kids.
The name of this amazing team of super heroes is called: Exodus Road. <– Click the link to read more.
I began this post speaking about patterns. A pattern is emerging. I am so thrilled to see it happen.
One of my closest friends, Andrea Baker, and her husband Andy lead an incredible ministry called Word Made Flesh Bolivia which serves to give abundant life to woman and children affected by prostitution. I have always admired their work.
Our former interns, Melinda and Romon Gore, have begun a ministry in the Dominican Republic to house underage girls who were victims of child trafficking and prostitution. Red Roots is all about bringing restoration to the broken. Love that!
My desire to become a midwife has led me to become informed about the dire issues worldwide regarding victimized women. The passion to become involved has been slowly growing.
It would seem that my path has been leading me in the direction of helping bring freedom to women.
I am humbled and honored to be invited to help in the abolitionist movement of my time.
Thank you to all who have been praying for us through this transition. This is one of many answers to prayer that we have been seeing. Though undeserving and still messed up I receive this kiss from Heaven and I am so very thankful.
Sounds like the set up for a great joke, right? It amused me to be the missionary in this scenario; so to that extent it is humorous. Aside from my own chuckle this is nothing more than a statement of fact:
A missionary, an astrologist, and a midwife walk into a yoga center.
My exploration of midwifery training began with a good ol’ Google search. Using as many phrases in Spanish and English I could think of I searched for schools and midwives in Bolivia. Then I extended my search to Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.
Conclusion: midwifery in Bolivia is 1) rare and 2) rural.
Two seasoned midwives in other countries have suggested that my next step in midwifery training be to find out what the legal requirements are to practice midwifery in Bolivia. As I understand the laws the government is still figuring out the best way to incorporate midwives and their ways.
The law requires the midwife to be registered with the “Ministry of Health and Sports, Vice-minister of traditional medicine and interculturality” branch of the government. Registration is obtained by the presentation of a formal letter from a certain government official in your town or city of residence on your behalf validating and vouching for your abilities as a practicing midwife in that region for the previous five years. Upon approval this registration allows you entrance into any hospital or clinic to perform your midwifery skills. This is the process required of all those who practice traditional medicine to grant them validity and clinical privileges, such as: herbalists, naturalists, spiritual guides, witch doctors, and midwives.
I know that “Western” practices are far from infallible. I also know there is much we have dismissed or forgotten from our ancient ancestors due to prejudices, industrialization, and commercialization. These errors are essentially throwing out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. Yet, I am still coming to accept where the government has chosen to slot midwives. I am not yet at peace with it.
Rural Bolivian Midwives
In the Bolivian countryside and the small towns, which make up the majority of the land in this nation, the midwives learn their skills from the generation before them. Their aptitude is identified as young as 11 years old. Usually the skills are inherited and instilled from an elder in the family. It’s a beautiful thing to think how natural and communal it is to give birth in the villages. It is also a frightening reality that many of the practices are based solely on tradition rather than science. The rustic rural areas are located far from additional support services of modern medical facilities.
To put myself under the tutelage of a traditional Bolivian midwife in a small village would give me loads of experience with laboring women in-the-flesh. But I don’t think it could provide the level of training that I seek to obtain. I respect those midwives and I see their role as vital for this nation. I just don’t feel like that is the path I am supposed to take to receive my training.
The full list of those officially registered in Bolivia can be found online. I scoured the names and categories to find the ones registered in the department (state) of Cochabamba. There were 22 (out of a population of 1,900,000+). I did a Facebook search for each of their names. I didn’t find any on facebook. Most likely they are all in the small villages of our department.
Urban Bolivian Midwife
Through Facebook, though, I did find one “partera” (midwife) in Cochabamba. I wrote a little message to her introducing myself and explaining I would like to meet her to discuss the training options that exist for a person like me here in Cochabamba. I also googled her name and found a few articles by and about her. I was able to ascertain from a YouTube video that she became uneasy and unsatisfied with the entitled, prejudiced, and rude treatment of the doctors towards the women she began to seek out a different way. Her journey led her to become a midwife.
She responded to my message with kindness and suggested a time we meet. At first we were going to sit in a plaza and talk. The day of the meeting she texted me to say that a friend of hers had graciously offered the space of her yoga center for us to meet. I was so excited.
I found the place and remembered seeing signs out front that they specialize in prenatal yoga. The place was every bit what you would expect. Low lights, soothing decor, and incense lingering in the air. The yoga instructor ushered me in to Vivi, the midwife. Vivi is lively yet calm with a sweet countenance of peace and acceptance. She has a soft voice that resonates confidence. Her long hair, beaded jewelry, and flowing flowery garb reminded me of pictures I had seen of my parents’ hippie days. I loved her right away.
We sat at the small table in the kitchenette and drank herbal tea sweetened with natural honey. She shared her story. I shared mine. Then I asked about the education possibilities. She spoke of her dreams of a state of the art birthing center with a training arm here in the city of Cochabamba. Then she spoke of the challenges of money, initiative, and legality. I understood. She encouraged me to continue on this path and urged me to seek out the training in any way I could.
As we rose to leave we encountered one of her friends in the entry way. She introduced me to the astrologist and explained how they work together. Vivi has a few women who are expecting babies in the coming months. She does their prenatal care and then attends their births.
I was disappointed to know that training to be a midwife would have to come from abroad. I was surprised, too. I thought there would be a more midwives because of the practicality of the role in a society like this one. I feel sorry that the expectant mothers in the urban areas do not have the option of the services of a midwife. It just makes sense to simplify and reduce the high number of unnecessary cesarean sections with a midwifery program. The great divide created by classism is shocking and quite abhorrent. Bolivia could benefit greatly from more midwives.
Now I have to look beyond Bolivian borders for a school. That search has begun.
When? Where? How? So many questions at this point. I am not without options. I just know I am facing a few challenges.
Age – Just turned 38. I know we never stop learning. I feel like my body and brain are up for this. I do feel also some urgency to make this happen sooner rather than later.
Geography – Bolivian midwives are few and far between in the city of Cochabamba. More practice in the villages and rural areas. Not impossible to access to get some hands on training, but difficult. No formal midwifery training is to be found in all of Bolivia (correct me, please, if you have other information). If I were to work alongside a practicing midwife in a village I wonder if they would accept me, culturally speaking.
Education – I have a high school diploma from the U.S. and one year of mission school training. No medical background, whatsoever. Many of the distance schools I have seen online require a basic nursing or paramedic degree as a prerequisite.
Realistic responsibilities – My life is here in Bolivia: as a missionary, as a mother of 5 kids still at home, as a wife supporting a man who works to provide for the family. My seriousness in choosing now to pursue this passion (that has been steadily growing for about 8 years now) dramatically affects each of those realistic responsibilities.
Baby steps – Right now I am gathering information from around the globe about how this can become a reality. I’m researching online. I am talking to people in the field. I am blogging about it in hopes to get some feedback. I made an Amazon wish list of 30+ textbooks and books I want to obtain based on a few different reading lists that distance schools made available online. I’ve begun to crunch the numbers for textbooks, distance training, etc.
Apprenticeship – It seems that most programs are about three years long. Some you can start from zero, like I am doing. All require time and experience spent under an approved practicing midwife, which I totally want to do, but it seems that none are close by, thus demanding I place myself in a physically different location for a significant amount of time. (I did meet a Bolivian midwife. For a upcoming blog I will be speaking about midwifery in Bolivia.)
Money – This part stumps me, but doesn’t stress me out. Training, textbooks, and travel are all costly and necessary for this to happen. And right when we are trying to figure out about launching our three oldest kids in a few short years. Hmm. Somehow, though, I have a feeling it’s all going to work out.
Do you, my handful of faithful readers, have any questions for me? Are there some challenges I am not seeing that you would like to mention? Do you have any suggestions for overcoming these difficulties?
The process which has brought me to this place of action is very precious to me. I don’t want to skip any step because I know all of them are important. Ambition and zeal got burned up in my younger years. Patience and persistence will be my strength as I walk out this journey. I am grateful for those following me, walking this out alongside me, and helping me to birth this desire. Thank you!
Making close friends is a necessity for survival when you are far from blood relatives. The Holman family has a few kids the same ages as a few of our kids. Mrs. Holman and Mrs. Washington have formed an especially tight bond. Yes, I just referred to myself in the 3rd person. According to Mr. Holman this is because I rock. I am so grateful for their friendships. I feel so privileged they allowed me to be present at the birth of their Bolivian born daughter, Mercy.
I was in the room the whole time Denise labored. She was so beautiful. The contractions would come and go. She would get quiet, go into herself for a while, and then as the pressure let up she would again engage in the conversation in the room. It wasn’t long. This was their 11th child. I watched, prayed, encouraged, and chatted.
The delivery room they took her to for the final moments of pushing was crowded, hot and teeny tiny. They weren’t there long, so I am sorry I didn’t ask to go with them. I learned then that if I want to walk this path I need to take the initiative to make it happen, not wait for it to come to me. I don’t want to be the one who hangs back left in the waiting room ever again. I know with all my heart that I want to be a midwife.
The induction was scheduled. Romon and Melinda graciously agreed to allow me to be present for the labor and delivery. I consider this one of the highest honors I have had in my entire life, alongside the honor of birthing our own five children.
The labor pains began slowly then progressively strengthened throughout the day. Morning turned to afternoon. Afternoon turned to evening. Evening became night. The blessed mother began pushing with the contractions, which came rapidly on their own.
The father and I stood at the doorway of the delivery room since we were not allowed to enter. We called out encouragement to the strong mama as she worked with her body to birth their daughter. Melinda remained calm and focused. She did so well!
At one point in the pushing a male nurse mounted the table and crouched over Melinda’s shoulders. He bore down on the belly pushing down on the top of the bulge near the ribs in the direction of the cervix working with a contraction to progress labor. I am curious if this is a modern midwife practice. They seemed pleased with the results.
After 40 minutes of pushing she began with very intense pushing. This intense phase lasted the last 20 minutes of the day. Jalynne was born just a hair before midnight. The first words out of the mama’s mouth after she was born were, “I miss her.” When the baby was out the doctor flipped her purple form around like pizza dough as he unwrapped the cord from her neck. The maneuvers were so quick and skilled I was shocked as I watched the doubly wrapped rope-like cord come away from the baby’s neck. It was an awful and awesome 5 seconds watching him untangle her.
Then she cried. She was born strong and flailed around batting at the nurses and doctor and her papa. I was so very happy for this precious family!
– March 2011
…click the pics to see ’em better
EDIT: Addition from the mother…
“I remember a pink chair. Feeling like it was impossible to push any more. “There is her head”. Absolutely don’t remember the anesthesiologist jumping over top of me and pushing on my belly. That is a memory I have only because ya’ll told me it happened. Hearing utensils fly all over the place cause Jalynne went wild for a second. And thats about it until a midnight argument with a nurse and Romon about… I’m not really sure. One sweet memory I do have was holding Jalynne on my chest for the first time. So fun to go back and think about that time.“
My redeemer baby came many years after my first three: bam, bam, bam. When I had an inkling I might be pregnant again I had a talk with God. I was embarrassed and sad that I had cried at the news of my first 3 pregnancies. I didn’t want that to be the case this time.
I felt the sweet voice of God releasing me and redeeming me when He said, “You can be as happy about this child as I was with the news of your first three pregnancies.” Wow! God rejoiced over Raimy, Timothy, and Gabrielle. Now God Himself was telling me I was pregnant even before I peed on the stick of the home pregnancy test. Wow. Yes, I was so happy. The whole pregnancy was normal, healthy, and good. I was thrilled. I would be giving birth to my redeemer baby in Bolivia.
His due date came and went. The doctor became nervous. He talked of c-section, the cord around his neck, too short cord not letting him drop, and too big of a baby. I begged for an induction – to give it a try. He said I would have to sign a waiver that I was choosing against the doctor’s suggestions and I would be held responsible for any consequences, including fatalities. Ah! I felt backed into a corner, powerless, lorded-over, bullied with no where to turn. We finally agreed to schedule the c-section.
The whole procedure was sterile, mechanical, and impersonal. It felt routine and professional yet joyless. I was very glad we were able to talk them into allowing DaRonn into the room. They invited DaRonn to watch Tyler come out of the cut they had made. He chose to stay beside me. They brought him out and exclaimed that the cord was wrapped around the neck twice. So, it turned out that their assessment of a short cord was incorrect – the cord was long enough, just caught up around his neck a few times.
Tyler Cole Washington was born the morning of September 7, 2006 in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His weight was similar to the first 3 at just over 7 pounds. This was considered “huge” in Bolivia where the babies are around 5 or 6 pounds usually.
Having a c-section is like a natural birth in reverse and in slow motion. The slow pain of recovery from the surgery lasts weeks compared to the relatively fast and intense hours of labor pains. I don’t recommend a c-section if it can be avoided.
Tyler was the most fun, most adored infant. He is my Bolivian boy.
If for nothing else (aside from the obvious joy of bringing the birth of my son) the c-section was useful to point me in the path of midwifery. I didn’t know until that day when a natural birth was “robbed” from me that I had such a great passion for midwifery, natural birth, and helping women enjoy the process of pregnancy, labor, and delivery the way their bodies know how to do it. For that part, I am grateful. Even the c-section experience will be redeemed.
Gabrielle’s name came to DaRonn in a dream during our engagement to be married. The birth order and all full names of all of our five children were decided upon before we said our vows on our wedding day. We did not think this odd. I now see that the prediction, or whatever you want to call it, with such detail about our offspring even before we were married was a rare exercise. We knew Raimy Olivia would be first, then our oldest son Timothy Aaron, then the dreamed of Gabrielle Moriah, followed by Tyler Cole, and finally we would adopt Kaitlynn Glory, our crowning glory.
Many times during my pregnancy with Gabrielle I felt strongly impressed to stop everything I was doing and intercede for her life. I prayed for her life in the womb, for her birth, and for her life as a whole. The prayers were intense and powerful. I felt as though I was affecting decades and hedging her about for a life calling. I was grateful to be able to serve this extremely strong and active being even before she was born to this world.
My she could kick! She remains an active strong person with an inquietude for great things. Her unique passion intrigues me.
She was due on August 11, 2001. I thought that providential because the first two were both born on an 11th. This little lady was a limit pusher from the first day of her life. Her due date came and went. I was a bit disappointed she didn’t come on the 11th – but I thought it was to be expected since my first two came well after their due dates.
Sunday, August 12th we were all resting in the afternoon after church. The warmth of that Oklahoma summer day enveloped the house in a calm blanket of heat. As I lay on the bed with my sleeping husband beside me the infant inside of was very active. Then the tightening began. I didn’t recognize what was happening at first. I felt an anticipation and overwhelming surge of confidence. I couldn’t lay still any longer. I began slowly pacing in the small house.
The truth dawned on me as I recognized the regularities of the pattern of tightening and loosening. These were not painful. They felt like a long firm hug.
I had been reading the book “Supernatural Childbirth” and had prepared myself for a drug-free, pain-free delivery. I woke DaRonn. I told him the baby was coming.
Our friends came to get our other two kids. We arrived at the hospital and I was all smiles. I knew what was happening and I was happy and excited. The nurses said that they would probably be sending me home because I was too calm to be in labor. I told them the contractions were coming very fast and strong.
They got me set up on a bed and told me a doctor would be in to examine me. After a long while (maybe 45 minutes) the doctor came in. He didn’t want to examine me and didn’t believe I was in labor because, “No, you are smiling too much to be in labor.” I calmly told him that he needed to see how far along I was. He finally consented. The priceless look of disbelief on his face when he said, “Nurse, prep the delivery room. She is at 8 cm!” still makes me smile to remember it. A couple more hours of labor and I was begging for them to let me push. Two big pushes and Gabrielle popped out, big-eyed and sprawling arms and legs moving around in all directions.
Some differences with this birth from the other ones: no pain killers, the bag of waters broke on its own, and I was given oxygen at one point because my hands cramped up from my breathing technique. There was a kind nurse there who helped me to adjust my breathing during the contractions. I was very happy for her calm wisdom. It helped alot. Another difference was that I was able to move around during labor because I was not attached to any machines. That was so very nice.
That birth was miraculous. Gabrielle, born late in the evening on Sunday, August 12, 2001, was long and skinny, but still very healthy, and weighed just over 7 pounds. Ten weeks later we made an intercontinental move to live in Bolivia with a 3 year old, a 2 year old, and a nursing infant.
On Valentines Day of 1999 we confirmed the pregnancy of our 2nd child – not quite one year after our 1st child was born. Again, I cried in fear and an overwhelming sense of helplessness and inadequacy. Married, traveled out of the country, had our first baby, DaRonn lost his father to cancer, we moved to another State, both of us working, DaRonn a full time university student, and we got pregnant again – all in the course of 2 years and 2 months. Talk about some stress!
The pregnancy progressed completely normally. During the third trimester we prepared for a road trip from Missouri to Chicago. My prep consisted of growing our firstborn son and getting him born. DaRonn’s prep consisted of training for a marathon. He was doing it as a fundraiser. Did I mention he was still a full time student (due to graduate shortly after we returned from Chicago) and working to provide for our growing family? During our “free time” also we volunteered at our church leading a marriage small group and spending Saturday mornings at a kids club in a downtown neighborhood.
This pregnancy taught me that children have distinct personalities from the moment they are conceived. Whereas Raimy’s intrauterine movements felt like a butterfly or the gracefulness of a jellyfish, Timothy’s movements were deliberate and almost predictable and scheduled. Raimy remains a free spirit and beautifully flows in grace and softness. Timothy is my scientific, structured thinker who thrives on schedule, predictability, and logic. How fascinating that their traits were identifiable from the very start of their lives in my womb.
Timothy’s due date came and went. We scheduled his induction for the 11th of October. I felt that was providential since Raimy was born on the 11th too. Another cold morning for going to have a baby. The same IV and bag breaking procedures were followed as with my first. This time I wasn’t so happy to be connected to an IV, though. I had the urge to be moving around. They allowed me to walk some but wanted me in bed. So I tried as many positions I could on the bed. I moved around alot!
The laboring time was again around 6 hours long. He was born face up. This means the back of his skull rubbed against my bones as he descended. Usually babies are born with their squishy faces down. When the back of the head pushes on the spine there is no break from the pain between contractions, just a bit of a lesser pain. Still, I opted for only mild pain killers through the IV drip. I was glad that the pushing was started and done in just a 10 minute span.
Timothy Aaron Washington was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri on October 11, 1999 – my first son. This beautiful, round boy weigh a nice 7 1/2 pounds. His low cries sounded like manly moaning. We took him home as soon as we could.
Just weeks later we made the road trip with our family of four to the marathon event. We stopped along the way to nurse and let our toddler run around. The highway rest stops from St. Joe to Chicago are very nice. I enjoyed our trip very much.
We didn’t go out to see the early morning start of the marathon with DaRonn. He told us an estimated time to be near the finish line to see him cross. I loaded the kids up in the double stroller and we found a sunny, grassy spot in the crowd to wait and watch.
I sat with my back against a tree on the frozen ground to nurse my newborn and corral my toddler. I felt so strong, like I could do anything. I watched people of every shape, size, ability, and age cross that finish line. Considering the crowd, the finish-line crossers, and our little trio under the tree had an empowering effect on me. My little son, especially, gave me a sense of strength and worth. I am capable and resourceful thanks to Timothy Aaron.
DaRonn’s race took about 4 1/2 hours. My labor to birth our oldest son took about 6 hours. As a couple we supported each other during these tremendous physical feats. We made a good team.
Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
Efforts we specifically contribute to in order to change the realities that Bolivian women face are:
1. The way we are raising our own children with an awareness of human rights, though they live in this culture
2. The way we are raising the children (boys and girls alike) at The House of Dreams Orphanage with an awareness of human rights, helping them change their expectations even though their backgrounds attest to this struggle
3. Providing equal opportunity employment in our office, the K-12 school we founded, and at the bowling alley we own thereby breaking the stigma against women and giving other employers an example of the positive outcome of empowering women
4. Educating boys and girls at the K-12 school with morals which defend human rights
5. Giving women equality in leadership roles at our church thereby diminishing the message of a lesser role in society communicated throughout history in the name of religion
Get involved in being part of the solution. Start by informing yourself of the realities. Then consider how you can help lower these dire statistics. Pray for us as we live amongst those who desperately need hope, that we can bring the hope and salvation of Jesus Christ even in the darkest situations.
Pray for me, specifically, if you would, as this topic keeps coming up in my heart. I have some ideas of ways I want to contribute to the current plight of women in this nation, but I desire clarity of timing and direction.