Today marks my first full week in Kafountine. I am happy to report that after several too quiet days at the clinic, the babies started coming. This weekend we had five, three of which I got to deliver.

New parameters. At the Kafountine clinic, being a good midwife means not getting blood on the floor, a fact we were ignorant of at our first delivery. The mom, freshly delivered, looked down at our feet and asked in a concerned voice in French, "Are these real midwives?" It was just what our American egos needed to bring us down a peg.

I'm getting used to the delivery table, considered superfluous if not down right evil by home birth midwives everywhere. The frogs that occasionally cross the floor don't startle me now. I've gotten my basic Wolof and Jola greetings down, and even throw in a word of two of French now and then.

There is so much that would never happen in America, in either a hospital or a home birth setting. Everything from the minister of health- previously met in a formal setting- coming in and tweaking my nose and cheeks after my first delivery, to the refrigerator repair man coming into the delivery room while we had a woman on the table and calmly helping himself to gloves from the box on our supply table, to the large party of Spanish tourists who paraded through our tiny clinic during another delivery.

Next to that repair man and the tourist, the frogs seem downright friendly.

From Kafountine, this is Roxanne saying, Mag i fee. I am here.