The 2021 Passage Application - Amazon

Cultural Immersion

As a participant in the 2021 Passage Expedition to the Amazon, you will take part in a unique opportunity. On this expedition we will be assessing sacred sites related to womanhood, pregnancy, birthing, and/or postpartum for inclusion in future itineraries. Accessing these sacred sites will involve long-distance foot travel that may include steep, slippery, treacherous terrain, inclement weather, and potential encounters with hazardous plants and animals.

At the Amazon village/bush camp we will be hosted by women, however men from the villages will likely accompany us in order to hunt and gather firewood, etc. During our visits we will gather exclusively with the midwives and mothers to gather wild herbs, food, and medicines and join them in their daily rituals. We will share and learn stories with the women about their beliefs and traditions relating to fertility, birthing and womanhood, and develop lasting connections. Village stays will provide more opportunities to share stories, play with children, gather together and relax.

It is important that applicants are aware of the challenges and hazards of this adventure and what it entails, but we hope it will install a sense of excitement rather than foreboding. The geography and environment of the Amazon is rugged and to fully take advantage of the exclusive, incredible opportunity we’ve been afforded, participants need to be prepared to push their physical, emotional and intellectual boundaries.

Expedition Itinerary

Day 1-3:

Arrival in our starting location.

During this time the team will have the opportunity to acclimatize and build connections with one another before we begin the journey to the remote area of the village where we will stay.

Day 3- 14:

Participants can expect some or all of the following:
  • Participating in home visits to pregnant women and mothers and babies, observing treatments, asking questions and offering support when sought.
  • Check-in, discussion and sharing of observations, thoughts, and insights with the team.
  • Reflective time for journal writing and compiling notes.
  • Walking/trekking to visit fertility, birthing and other sacred sites for women.
  • Time to share stories and develop lasting connections with the villagers and other members of the team.
  • Conducting conversations with indigenous women, young girls, traditional midwives.
  • Learning traditional midwifery practices through observation and listening.
  • Bushwalking to collect medicinal plants and observing how medicine is created with them.
  • Recording the traditional knowledge, practices and stories through writing and audio recording.
  • Observing and possibly participating in birth rituals or other rites of passage and ceremonies.
Overall team objectives will include:
  • Building respectful relationships through listening, and having an open, curious, non-judgmental attitude toward others.
  • Creating the foundation for the development of collaborative educational programs that will satisfy the needs of women and girls in the community.
  • Identifying common health concerns during birth, pregnancy and postpartum.
  • Identifying the hopes, needs, concerns, dreams, and challenges of village women and girls.
  • Holistic midwifery knowledge sharing that is complimentary and supports healthy outcomes of mothers and babies
  • Learning about the pregnancy process, birth rituals, rites of passage rituals (hopefully observe and participate) for the purpose of travel immersion experiences.
  • Recording oral histories and genealogies, birth sites, medicinal plant use, and other cultural sites of importance through a database of land maps associated with indigenous use on the land
  • Contributing to the empowerment of women and mothers to know and advocate for their health and birth rights
  • Contributing to greater awareness around women’s and mother’s health and birth rites at the government and policy making levels.
  • Contributing to the acknowledgement and recognition of the role of the midwife in larger contexts, ensuring the role continues and is passed down to future generations.

Day 14-16:

Travel back from the village to the city of arrival.

The 2021 Passage Expedition to the Amazon is still in development and is subject to changes in itinerary, length, dates, travel and accommodation plans. However, due to the high level of interest and limited spaces available on this expedition, we are accepting applications now. For the protection of the communities we will be collaborating with, expedition particulars such as location and community will be revealed in the future.

Please stay tuned through our newsletter, website and social media feed for more details and up to date information about this and future expeditions to the Amazon.

EXPLORE

NURTURE

REVITALIZE

The 2021 Passage Expedition will serve as an incredible first step for Adventure Midwives. Our intention is to take the module we co-create with the communities in Papua New Guinea and reproduce it in other communities across the world, such as the Amazon, Africa and Siberia, according to each communities needs. Our aim is to have collaborative initiatives in midwifery and cultural land mapping that will help to support the following outcomes:

  • Holistic midwifery knowledge sharing that is complimentary and supports healthy outcomes of mothers and babies
  • Recording oral histories and genealogies, birth sites, medicinal plant use, and other cultural sites of importance through a database of land maps associated with indigenous use on the land
  • The acknowledgement and recognition of the role of the midwife in larger contexts, ensuring the role continues and is passed down to future generations
  • Protection of indigenous women’s birthing rights and access to culturally sensitive care that respects language, culture and customs while minimizing risks of institutionalized violence in the face of contact with outside authority and medical systems.
  • Empowerment of women and mothers to know and advocate for their health and birth rights, while contributing to greater awareness around these rites at the government and policy making levels.

Step 1 of 3

  • The expedition will commence in 2021, and will be 16 days in length. It will consist of a team of eight including an expedition leader, a local guide/interpreter, a team coordinator and a film-maker. The expedition will take us through challenging terrain to meet with the communities who live closely linked to their natural environment and according to their traditional beliefs, which can be likened to animism. After arriving at a community and meeting with leaders and midwives we will begin the process of talking, listening, sharing and learning how to work together so to create long term relationships and programs that serve the unique needs of the women and mothers in the community. We will camp in each of the three villages and be taken to birthing ritual sites and other sacred sites of importance for women, while having an opportunity to speak with and learn from midwives, mothers, girls and men in the community. Never before has this kind of research been conducted in these communities, and the opportunity represents a great step forward for research into women’s health and midwifery practice.

    Before applying, we urge you to consider the following.

    • Does your work experience match with and fulfill the expedition title and requirements?
    • What do you personally hope to gain from this expedition in terms of your personal development and career aspirations?
    • What are your credentials to be a true Adventurous Midwife Explorer?
    • Do you enjoy working with others as part of a team to solve problems and accomplish objectives?
    • Are you confident in your physical abilities in facing the physical challenges required of this expedition such as (but not limited to) hiking/trekking in tropical rainforest, bush camping and bush hygiene and sanitary facilities, unexpected weather conditions, exposure to different foods, plants, animals and insects, etc.
    Please read our introduction, guidelines and eligibility criteria on the following few pages before you complete this application form. If you have any difficulties with applying for this award online please contact us at: [email protected]
  • Please complete the following.

    You will have the option of saving your form if you wish to complete it at a later time.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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