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Linda R. Barnes, CNMBecoming a midwife was a “come lately” vocation; I was 40 when I started down that seemingly endless path at Columbia University in New York City back in the mid ‘80s. By the time I finished midwifery training and  was ready to return to Africa where I had spent the previous 15 years I realized: 1) I had fallen in love with NYC and 2) all the “third world” engagement I wanted was afoot in New York City.   I remained in New York City  for 15 years…mostly at Bellevue Hospital as a midwife.  I live now in Durango,CO…happily.  Since migrating westward to the Colorado Plateau I have spent a year in Kosovo training midwives and now I am engaged (first with International Medical Corps and now with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
            I share ruminations and reflections on experiences that have come my way in  rich abundance.  I dedicate this blog to my sons, Abednego, Daudi and Jonathan. Their experiences growing up were far from typical; they were often left to ripen and mellow in strange environs…sometimes with scant parental presence.  I have the deepest love for them and their families and respect for their choices.




1. heipet - July 17, 2006

Hi Linda,
I have notified GlobalVoices of your blog, I think it should be included there!


Keep up your good work,

Heidrun Karin Peters
from Germany

2. Eva Laufey - October 9, 2006

Hello Linda!
I´m a midwife from Iceland going to Gowr province in Afghanistan in 2 weeks time – to do a 2 weeks training with local midwives.
I was wondering if you could give me any tips about how midwives in A work. I was in Malawi earlier this year working with TBAs. They are not supposed to do vaginal examination, the women don’t move around during first stage and give birth laying flat on the floors – Was just wondering if you could give me any tips about the way the Afghan midwives work – and if there is anything special I need to focus on.
Best regards, Eva Laufey.

3. Annie Rotondi - February 5, 2007

Hello Linda,
I have recently moved here to durango from asheville, nc. In asheville i was studying herbal medicine and was really hoping to be part of the midwifery program at La Matrona, a wonderful school in town. I was unable to do the program because it was full time and i was working full time, but was hoping there might be some opportunities to learn here in durango. l i know there is no official school here, but thought maybe there were midwives willing to share their wisdom, or perhaps arrangements could be made to have a course come out here. Please let me know if you have any leads for me. Thanks you,
Annie Rotondi

4. Kendra Ippel - January 21, 2008

Dear Linda,
I see that it has been close to a year since you have posted, or since someone else has posted a comment. However, I would love to correspond with you regarding your work in Afghanistan. I am a midwifery student and am writing my Master of Science thesis. My topic requires me to study maternity care in areas of crises (my key focuses being Afghanistan or Pakistan, Darfur, and perhaps New Orleans). I am hoping to get many testimonials from the field rather than use statistics of larger health organizations in my paper. Please let me know if you are interested in answering my questions and contributing to my study.

5. Terence White - April 23, 2009

I believe we have a mutual friend in Kabul. Please contact me regarding some property of yours.

6. Wally & Jackie Marx in New Jersey - December 5, 2009

Hi Linda, What a lovely life you’re living. I recall back to the blond pigtails from Cedar Rapids, my Aunt Marie and your lovely family in Sycamore, then Africa, Colorado, etc, etc. Where next? Merry Xmas!
Wally & Jackie

7. madison buttigieg - January 25, 2014

Is it possible to work as an LM in Afghanistan if you were trained in the US?

8. Brenda mridburg - October 1, 2015

My daughter Heath McRae and Jonathan dated in nyc and Hawaii and I always had hopes of meeting you but Heath Snd Zjono life took different directions – I hope he and his family are doing well in San Francisco – I wish that I had the chance iof meeting you and finding out all the experiences you have had


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