A group of doulas, including a number from Doula Training Canada, have started the journey to Ecuador to volunteer and learn as doulas.
A few of our members joined Group One with Wombs of the World and we cannot wait to hear more about their adventures, while others will be embarking for their Group Two experience tomorrow. Learning and adventure and support await!
Shaunacy, our life-long learning Director, will be joining Group Two and has posted the “must-have’s” of packing for a two week doula immersion program.
Follow along over the course of the next few weeks as we post pictures, experiences, and all our Ecuadorian learning fun!
Suggestions for packing for a two week doula volunteer trip:
- Super comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking during clinic hours and your time exploring the country you are volunteering in. Comfortable shoes = packing item numero uno!
- Journal and pen. You are certainly going to want to take some time to write down your experiences. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of a busy day and carve out some time for yourself.
- Cards with birth/ doula related sayings in the native tongue of the country you are visiting. This will help you feel more confident in approaching persons who may not speak the same language as you. It is also respectful to try to speak their language first and can really open up body-to-body trust when speaking isn’t the primary form of doula support. Having these in Tanzania helped me huge when trying to remember Swahili.
- Snacks. I often bring cliff bars and my favourite herbal teas. If you are a picky eater, or want to eat often, then having a quick “grab and go” snack in your bag is a great idea.
- A bag big enough for awesome things. When you travel abroad you often have some exploring days that bring you to artisan markets. Having the space to grab up a few amazing items for home is a good idea. Or plan to bring old clothes and leave them there to create space!
- A doula name badge. Many immersion programs (like our amazing friends at Wombs of the World) request that you wear a name tag that says DOULA on it during clinic days. Have fun and create something with your picture, name and DOULA on it. You may also want to add some of those doula sayings mentioned above onto a lanyard with this badge.
- Photocopies of your passport, travel documents, and locations you will be staying. This will help you feel prepared and safe for anything that may pop up (good travel tip in general!).
- Lastly… an open mind! Packing and preparing for two weeks away can feel overwhelming when you are heading to a country that you haven’t visited before, and maybe working in environments you are not fully aware of. Keeping an open mind and remembering that you are there to learn not save is super important. The opportunities that volunteer immersion programs provide are long-lasting and profound. Going with an open mind, a lust to learn, and a heart full of compassion is what should fill most of your packing time!