We decided for an uneventful New Year’s Eve this year. We stayed home, worked on a few projects, and hoped to sleep long before the fireworks started.
Very little seems to go by uneventfully for us, though!
A neighbor and our most-often-used Karen translator came to the door about 10pm to say that someone had a stomachache. She said she didn’t know the person, but they needed to go to the clinic.
To be honest, I was skeptical. It was New Year’s Eve, and the clinic probably wasn’t interested in helping give out ORS for stomachaches. I would guess the hospital was ready for accidents and stomach pumping, but probably not stomachaches either.
And for me, I was really enjoying the uneventful evening, looking forward to sleep, and kind of hopeful to avoid stomach pumping as well.
I asked if I could go see first before we just headed off to the clinic, and they agreed.
What they didn’t mention is that she lived about a kilometer away, so we trudge down roads by fireworks and drunken gatherings, while I wished I had brought Stephen along and a sweater. On the way I asked if it was a child, to which she gave a shocking no! I wasn’t sure why it would be so absurd for a child to have a stomachache, but I asked if it was a man or woman. Again, she answered very emphatically that it was a woman, and I was quite confused why she thought these questions were so silly.
I walked into the house to see a very, very pregnant woman lying on the ground. I turned to the Karen translator and said in Karen, “Oh! She’s pregnant! How far along is she? Is she in labor?”
With a similar tone, she replied in Karen, “Yes, the baby is down and is coming. She has a stomachache.”
I’m still not sure why she kept using the term for stomachache rather than clearly saying that the woman was in labor, but whatever! I trekked back to the house as quickly as I could to grab the car, and drove back to the woman’s home.
When I opened the door for her, a whole lot of people climbed in the car. I’m not really sure why or who any of them were; we haven’t met this woman before. I would just much rather drive her to hospital in a vehicle than have her get on the back of a motorcycle taxi in labor. I tried to encourage less people, but they seemed disappointed even at the “few” who could fit. I particularly tried to discourage the drunk man, but wasn’t sure if he was the father, so he came along, too.
As I pulled away, we had about ten of us in the car, but I’m not really sure. I didn’t think anything of it until we hit the center of town and came upon an increased number of police. They had set up a checkpoint, likely to stop drunk drivers.
This is the first time I have actually been stopped by police with illegals in the car with me, but it was a pretty unfortunate situation with there being about ten of us in our four-person vehicle, the back open, the drunk man…But I trudged toward them with no way to go around & me as the only legal thing happening. I rolled down my window and said, “Baby! Baby!” before they could ask any questions. They shooed us away pretty quickly, probably not wanting to deliver a baby anymore than I did.
By God’s grace, we made it to the hospital before the baby was born, and trekked home with about half as many people and (thankfully) no additional police stops.
Maybe we’ll try again for an uneventful New Year’s next year!