Making Do with Soda Soap

Freetown traffic jam.

Making Do with Soda Soap was my first blog.  I started it when I moved to Bo, Sierra Leone to volunteer for an organization that provides surgical repairs for obstetric fistulas in September 2008.  I was in a government hospital almost every day, doing administrative work, mostly.  Though I also observed surgeries and helped in any way I could, even, once, fighting a fire on the hospital grounds. 

The title, "Making Do with Soda Soap" comes from the history of soap in Sierra Leone.  Before the civil war, handmade soap (assembled with bicarbonate of soda and other ingredients) was passed over in favor of perfumed imported soaps.  During the war, however, very little (if anything) was imported to the country--meaning that even "soda soap" became a luxury.  Although some things have changed since the civil war (and you can get that fancy soap), there is still much that is limited.  We were always making do with soda soap.

I've incorporated all of my blogs together, but if you want to skip to this section, you can start with the first post here and make your way forward.  Or you can start with the last post here and make your way back.  The original blog is here.