Babycatcher is written by an American nurse-midwife working in Malawi. Her stories are almost as incredible as her work, done in the worst possible conditions, with lazy, jaded, untrained, inefficient or a sheer lack of staff, and with patients with no access to clean water, food, or transportation to the hospital. Malawi has terribly high infant and maternal mortality rates and there's not nearly enough being done. Some of her stories are positively haunting. I'm thinking about sending her some money for infant formula for the hospital (high maternal mortality means lots of orphaned babies), once I learn more about her contact information and the best way to do so (obviously can't send cash). It wouldn't be much-- I don't have too much of my own money to spare-- but it might be something.
Sometime in my life I will go to Africa or India or some other 3rd world area and I will work as an obstetrician* there. I will probably wait until after my children are grown (has to be after med school and I'll probably want to have kids as soon after I get out as possible, and I couldn't do it while they were growing up-- too high risk). But when I have paid off my med school debts and saved my money, I will go and stay for a while in a third world country and try to do good there. I have wanted to do this since I was twelve and I think it will make me a better person, and help me truly understand the world in ways that spoiled Americans can not. Plus, I will be offering a service that is desperately needed by these women.
So read her blog.
*If for whatever reason I don't become an obstetrician, I may still get midwife training, or do some other kind of relief work. It's something I feel morally bound to do before I die. For how long, I don't know, but I will do it, and encourage others to do the same.