In 1996, when I was living in Poumayassi in the Central African Republic, a woman came to my door in the middle of the night carrying a bloody piece of firewood. The blood was hers; her husband had used the wood to hit her on the head. She knew that, as a Peace Corps volunteer, I had sterile bandages and would help her. But the irony for me was that she had likely carried that very piece of wood on her head for miles to bring it back for the family fire.