Pillars Book Club #8

chapters 16-18

So…I forgot to send this one a few weeks ago. It is from a few chapters ago. I am so sorry! Things are out of order, a bit like how I feel in the summer in the USA - all discombobulated. I hope you can find some benefit from these questions anyway.

Today we are going to look at one of my personal favorite parts of the book - the birth of my daughter. This story, alongside the birth of baby God, were profound experiences that have rooted me deeper than I’d thought possible to Djibouti and my friends here.

Chapter 16 Blessed

Have you given birth abroad or been pregnant abroad? There are so many factors that go into making decisions about where to have a baby and I support every family choosing for themselves and their times what is the best choice. I don’t even know that I would choose to have a baby here again, even though it went so well. So, no judgment! I’d love to hear some of your stories about how you made decisions like this.

Also, what have you learned about pregnancy and childbirth in your host country? What do you consider some of your passport culture’s rituals around birth? We all have them.

Chapter 17 Excluded and Included

One of the hardest things for me to learn was how much my presence affected people. Sometimes my being such a visible outsider presented problems both for me and for my friends. Have you experienced this? How have you responded?

Do you think I crossed a line in praying here? This story has so many other facets that I don’t include in the book, as it continues to play out over time. What might be some of the issues of capturing a story like this and setting it into a book? Does that limit what the story might do or somehow try to put a capstone on something that isn’t done yet? That’s what writing can feel like, often.

Chapter 18 God’s Names

Do you pray with a rosary or a tusbah or another form of counting or meditating? Has that been refreshing to your soul? How so?

What else struck you in these chapters?