At 7 a.m my door bust open and Robin crawled under the blanket with me.
It’s something midwives do—crawl under the covers together. It’s a fringe benefit of staying up all night together…sometimes days.
It’s the best fringe benefit I know…the sisterly entwining of lower legs and feet under the covers that comes simultaneously with some giggling.
A settling in of sorts.
Decided to go for coffee to talk about the volunteer program that I’m setting up. It’s daunting.
Saturday 3.1.08, around noon:
It’s amazing how busy it can be here in an un-busy sort of way. My lunch with Chandra was lovely and I got more perspective on the volunteer program — this time from a devoted volunteer.
One of the main reasons I’m here this time is to talk to volunteers, Robin, Frank and the staff about the problems as well as the strengths of the existing program and to get feedback and ideas of what may help in its next incarnation.
The more I talk with people about the volunteer program, the more complex it is.
But that’s just representative of the complexity of running a clinic based on good AND compassionate care for pregnant families in a different culture, where non-Balinese volunteer workers come to help. Many of these volunteers come with a willing heart,
but are in danger of being triggered into their own internal “disasters” during their experience here, thereby adding to the problems here, by no wish of their own.
So one of the questions is: what is the best, most effective, imperfect way to help volunteers who come to help, actually be able to integrate with integrity into THIS system, without adding to the chaos.
The more I listen to people about their experiences, the more imperfect and impossible the answers to these questions MUST be allowed to be, because the nature of working in a disaster area is its chaotic nature.
Mathematically, chaos means an a periodic deterministic behavior which is very sensitive to its initial conditions, i.e., infinitesimal perturbations of initial conditions for a chaotic dynamical system lead to large variations of the orbit in the phase space.
In lay terms, chaotic systems are systems that look random but aren’t. They are actually deterministic systems (predictable if you have enough information) governed by physical laws, that are very difficult to predict accurately (a commonly used example is weather
forecasting). [as defined by Wikipedia]
The coming and going of volunteers as well as the random and constant coming and going of patients and pregnant women, makes the dynamic of chaos very alive here for the permanent staff.
My hope is (to use the definition above) that with enough information, the level of chaos here can be minimized.
It’s a big job.
Sunday morning 3.2.08:
Spent most of yesterday preparing for the huge benefit concert for Bumi Sehat.
Michael Franti came to Bali specifically to do a benefit for the clinic’s new land/building. Friday night he and Carla (his partner)had Robin and her children and me to the resort up the street for a private dinner on the terrace. The 9 of us talked and laughed and ate and then he sang for us into the night. It was special to see his devotion to the work of Bumi Sehat.
Last night was the benefit reception/dinner/news conference and then the concert. Hundreds came from all over the world to hear him sing. Literally. And all night he just reminded everyone that he was there to support this work of Robin’s.
When someone believes in something and throws their heart behind it, it’s infectious.
That’s how we all have come together here in these emails…
As a result of his heart’s desire last night, Bumi was donated over $25,000 for the new clinic.
I must admit that concerts and clubs are the farthest thing from my experience and personal preference, but it was so moving to experience the support en-mass.
Slept until 7:30 this morning then off to coffee with Robin to talk about the volunteer program.
My beloved friends…thank you for caring about all of this. Thank you for wanting to know. Thank you for holding this clinic in your hearts.
It means the world to me way over here that I can write to you about this. To share the burden, success, heartache.
Tomorrow I write about the village and the young woman’s family who came in this morning.
We had 6 babies in the last 24 hours.
Love to each of you and your families,