I sleep, when I can, on the porch where the skies are full of stars and the breezes are cool and sweet. The frogs break the silence with a rowdy burst of conversation that wakes the roosters, that wakes the cows. But even in one week I have grown accustomed to these noises and wake only to the knock at the iron gate as a woman in labor comes to our door. Yesterday four women came; the last at 2:00 am. The little head appeared the moment she lay down and she was tucked in, babe in arms, by three.
In my first week, I have delivered eight babies and sent two to the hospital; one who arrived in bloody sheets and another who I feared a cord prolapse. An average clinic day is about 20 prenatal appointments and another 10 or more babies to see. Sending a woman to the hospital, at this point, means back out onto the road to find a ride on a motorcycle so it is a hard choice to make.
Although I am still sleepy from the birth I have gone for my morning walk and will soon be treated to breakfast prepared each day for us by the cook who creates amazing dishes with very little and an art for the use of spices.
I have quickly become accustomed to this life, grateful for the wonders I see and offering the sorrows to my prayers before bed. I sleep early, preparing for the knock on the gate that may soon awaken me.