A doula (/ˈduːlə/), also known as a birth companion or post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who assists a person before, during, or after childbirth, as well as their spouse and family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support.
"My body was not born here, but my spirit was / a seed mistakenly exported. The longer I was gone, the more I shriveled up / a weed amongst the red, red roses. I had to feel the soil by going up, and landing in a place somewhat foreign. But when I found my roots, I was no longer a bud, I rose above the mud as a lotus." - Jumakae
P'Jo is a big brother to me. He brought me home to Thailand six years ago without even having met me in person yet, with our bond being rooted in reggae music and lineage since we learned our parents are from the same village.
We lost touch for several years when his brother passed away shortly after I returned to the US, and his band had to dissolve. I had no idea how I would contact him, but he was the only person I really cared to see during my trip back. Last week, I received a phone call from him out of the blue while still in Long Beach. He was thinking of me and our adventures together, and shared his wife had just recently passed away. I told him I was going to be there the following week, and couldn't wait to see him to give him a hug. The day I landed, I also met Anne NaPatalung for my first time, the radical Thai American sister from the east coast i would be taking this herbalism/womblifting class in Chiangmai with. I learned that her parent is also from the same village as mine and Jo's. This union of the three of us makes me wonder what life would have been like had our parents never migrated to the city and to the United States, but is also an affirmation that we still manage to find each other.
No matter where the seeds land, our roots remain.
"The most radical thing I ever did was stay put." - Grace Lee Boggs