Have you ever had a dream that somehow got buried over the years…. A vision that got lost in the day-to-day realities of life?
That happened to me. Thirty-five years ago, give or take, I left Guatemala, my home for almost 15 years, with my husband, 2 young sons, a daughter on the way, and 7 boxes containing all our worldly possessions.
We were fleeing the political violence that had overtaken this beloved country, the genocide of the indigenous population that we were working with as health educators, feeling the need to move to a more stable and safe environment to raise our family. It was a painful decision, and I left with the dream of one day returning to work with the traditional birth attendants I had grown to love and admire so much.
My plan was to study midwifery so I could return and help teach them how to deal with the obstetrical complications that took so many lives. I did study midwifery, establishing my own home birth practice in rural western Massachusetts for 7 years. I also studied and received my Masters degree in health education.
But the dream of going back to Guatemala to live and work faded over the years, as new opportunities and realities emerged and my family settled into a new life in the US.
Well, the Universe works in mysterious ways. A couple of weeks ago, almost thirty-five years later, I received an invitation from a dear colleague and friend to join a team of medical volunteers who are going to Chiapas this May, one of the poorest and most vulnerable regions in Mexico, to provide simultaneous interpreting for skills-training for local medical providers, including traditional birth attendants.
How perfect is that? Needless to say, I am so excited to have this opportunity. It’s not exactly what I imagined all those years ago as we left Guatemala behind, but it’s an amazing chance to be back in that part of the world, putting my interpreting skills and my midwifery knowledge to service.
Will you help me get there? https://www.crowdrise.com/MMMchiapas/fundraiser/julieburns2