Friday, November 7, 2008
A morning with the women in Panabaj
Last week I received a call from an organization in a nearby town asking if I could arrange for a couple of the doctors from the hospital to come and speak to a group of women in Panabaj about contraception. Panabaj is known to be a quite poor community and it is also the area that was hit the hardest by the 2005 mudslide. So after asking around the hospital I found two of the volunteer doctors who were willing to spend the morning in Panabaj teaching these woman. We were all quite nervous about how it would be received, because the Panabaj community is largely Catholic and opposed to contraception. However, this is what the doctors were asked to speak about. After about 20 minutes into the meeting a little old Catholic lady stood up and to our surprise said, "I thank GOD that you women are hearing this!! When I was having children we didn't know about contraception, but we wish we had. It is embarrassing to have 10 kids!! You shouldn't be bringing more children into the world than you can provide for. Praise GOD that you women have the options that I didn't." We were all shocked. From that moment on everything changed. Suddenly it was okay for the women to act interested. They started asking questions and asking for prices. The meeting went an hour longer than it was scheduled because they were all so curious. It was a great morning and the director has asked for me to arrange for more doctors to come and this time he wants to advertise in town and try to get more people to come as well. I just hope that the little old lady comes and gives her speech again.