January 19, 2018
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Midwife chronicles tumultuous year in Africa

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BAR HARBOR — Join Bar Harbor nurse-midwife Linda Robinson at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, Nov. 29, beginning at 7 p.m. to hear the riveting story behind “Sunday Morning, Shamwana: A Midwife’s Letters From the Field.”
Ms. Robinson spent a year working with a team from Doctors Without Borders in a small village deep in the backcountry of the Democratic Republic of Congo — no roads, no infrastructure and only the crudest of medical facilities. It was her job to help with difficult childbirths, treat disease and injury, train local women and help improve sanitation in a community wracked by malnutrition, poverty and an infant mortality that is astronomical compared with the United States’. And she was doing it in a foreign language, while living in an extreme climate and enduring intermittent shortages of supplies — all while her loved ones were thousands of miles away.
Every day she wrote about her experiences in a journal; and once a week, on Sundays in four hours allotted to her on a computer, she wrote a long e-mail to family and friends. Though intended to keep her five children, mother and other folks up-to-date on what was happening, the e-mails helped her process what she was experiencing as well.
Those e-mails were forwarded again and again, reaching people Ms. Robinson didn’t even know. She developed a following.
So when she left Africa in September of 2008, she was encouraged to write a book. After some thought, she decided to combine the e-mails with her journal entries. The result is “Sunday Morning, Shamwana: A Midwife’s Letters from the Field.”
Books will be available for purchase at the Jesup on Nov. 29 courtesy of Sherman’s book store. Sherman’s will donate part of the proceeds to the library, and Ms. Robinson will donate part of the proceeds to the people of Shamwana.
For more information, call the library at 288-4245, or visit the library’s Facebook page or webpage. The Jesup Memorial Library is at 34 Mount Desert St. in Bar Harbor.