I had very few negative experiences luckily but many very positive ones. When I think back to my time there I instantly think of the fantastic national team (about 40 people employed by Doctors of the World from cleaners to HIV counsellors) they welcomed me into their team and gave me a truly memorable experience. They also worked hard to ensure the work we were doing reached the right people.
The teaching itself was such a highlight, although challenging especially with extremely low levels of education, working with the local population was really rewarding. I particularly enjoyed making the TBAs laugh mainly with my ridiculous acting (the Somali women are generally quite reserved so it was wonderful when you see them losing their inhibitions) and getting them to participate with role plays and story telling etc..
I would say to anyone wanting to do this type of work be under no illusion that you will be saving the world, but I remain hopeful that some of the work we do can makes significant changes to peoples lives and encourages further community action. All in all I trained 130 traditional birth attendants. I would definitely go back to Africa and I’d love to visit other African countries.