So the work is over, we have said goodbye to Alison and off we go for some sightseeing! Not Tehran so I can make no comment on that city. We saw a few interesting buildings on the sky line but it was basically a typical crowded, busy, dusty city. This trip was to Isfahan.
These women know how to party!
Four days of workshops, meetings with influential people, sharing meals with family and friends (and a bout of food poisoning) and it is time for Alison to leave us. I have been asked to stay on for a couple of days to contribute to a workshop in another province – only to find on arrival in Iran that this wasn’t happening. So tomorrow we are off to Isfahan. But meantime party time to bid Alison farewell.
As well as running the workshops Leila had her own private clinic to run. This she did after the workshops and invited us to join her. She carries out antenatal and postnatal examinations at her clinic as well as a variety of gynaecological related activities. We declined to get a little down time.
But we did get along to a parentcraft class and an aquanatal. Both of these were fascinating and Alison in particular was called on to contribute in both. No surprise there – this woman is a truly brilliant midwife with so many additional skills.
On the evening of our first workshop in Iran, having got back to the hotel at 6.15 due to the dreaded traffic, we were picked up and taken to an amazing restaurant in the mountains in Darband. It took another 90 mins of that traffic to get there but was an amazing experience. It is a well protected area of many restaurants built on terraces stretching up as far as I could see along with flower shops, street traders and an assortment of animals and birds – I saw a goat, hens and ducks.
Five of us sat down to dinner at Koohpaye restaurant and we were introduced to a range of typical Persian food. For starters we had olives with walnuts and pomegranate sauce, and aubergines, smoked garlic and sesame oil. One was called Mirza Ghasemi with Lavash bread. Both were nice but despite not liking olives as a rule, I loved that dish best. We then shared Bakhtiari kebab and Bulgarian Kebab. A few vegetables accompanied the dish; the carrots were particularly delicious and I realised why. They were cooked in rose water! Then to end the meal we had rose tea with some really interesting sugary swizzle sticks called Nabat. A leisurely saunter back down the hill sampling some street food such as fruit leather and we got back to the hotel after midnight! A long day.
Our principle reason for travelling to Iran was to take part in a 4 day Waterbirth workshop. We were asked to prepare short sessions for discussion on the first day on Waterbirth, VBAC and Vaginal breech. This we did! The next three days were to be practical sessions. It did not quite pan out like this.