"Food for Thought"

 

2013-14 Food for Thought Schedule

Date: This is our final lecture of the season. They will resume in September.

Location: Birch Bay Village Inn

Time: Lunch 11:30, $11 each // Lecture noon - 1:00
Reservations required

Description:

Linda Robinson:

 

A Midwife's Letters from the Field

 

Date: Friday, April 25, 2014

Location: Birch Bay Village Inn, Hulls Cove

Time: Lunch 11:30, $11 each // Lecture noon - 1:00
Reservations required

Description:

When your life’s work is focused on providing the best possible healthcare for women and children, how might you react to being placed in a country where war has raged for a decade? And having lived within such a community, how does one return to a former way of life?

Linda Robinson, a nurse-midwife, spent 2007-08 working in Democratic Republic of Congo with Doctors Without Borders. She will share insights about foreign aid and foreign policy, how our actions contribute to the world stage, and how women and children are affected differently from men. Her presentation will include a brief history of what led to the conflict, efforts to bring medical care to affected people, and what the experience meant to a humanitarian worker.

Linda spent a year working in Shamwana, a small remote village deep in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sent to Africa by Doctors without Borders, Linda found herself in a community traumatized by a decade of war and famine. The bleak landscape, once teeming with animals and vegetation, had been stripped bare by people desperate to survive. As she worked to care for women and their families, Linda came to know their extraordinary suffering and their equally extraordinary strength.

Her letters home each Sunday morning, written to make sense of the overwhelming challenges she was facing, provide a loving picture of the people who both inspired and depended on her. Her book, Sunday Morning, Shamwana: A Midwife’s Letters from the Field, was written from a compilation of these letters. We learn of the stamina and love of Gerardine and Beatrice, the local midwives; of Benson the devoted Congolese physician who worked in conditions unimaginable in other parts of the world; of wise Mario, the Muslim Unimog driver who accompanied Linda as she visited villages where children were dying of measles, and invited her into his family.

Linda’s international work has taken her to Malawi Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer; to American Samoa where she started the first midwifery practice; and to the Democratic Republic of Congo with Doctors without Borders. Her current book, created from her letters sent home, is Sunday Morning, Shamwana: A Midwife’s Letters from the Field. She has co-authored two books, Being Pregnant, A Woman’s Answer Book, and Women’s Sexual Health. Linda is the mother of five children and practices nurse-midwifery in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Her book gives an eye-opening account of the day-to-day reality of a fieldworker in the African bush, and the trials and triumphs of work with an international aid organization. Linda's voice is vivid, quirky, wise and brave. At once heart-wrenching and humorous, joyful and filled with grief, her riveting narratives allow us to encounter the realities of childbirth and survival in a time of war. She expresses her own horror, frustration, and small victories while questioning the limits of human strength, the role of international aid, and the meaning of her place in the world.

The hot buffet lunch begins at 11:30 and costs $11.00; the lecture is from noon to 1:00. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting the Acadia Senior College office at 288-9500, or by emailing learn@acadiaseniorcollege.

2013-14 List of Speakers

Date: January - April 2014

Location: Birch Bay Village Inn

Time:

Description:

April 25 - Linda Robinson: "A Midwife's Letters from the Field" (This is our final Food for Thought of this season.)