Monday, May 05, 2008
You never know what is going to happen in Zambia...
You never really know what to expect in Zambia. On the way home from a friends house for dinner, we got a call from Daka, our guard. Now is the time! His wife "doesn't feel well" and they need a ride to the hospital, because the baby is ready to come out! So, we got back, and since he was working, I gave him a ride to his house in the Garden Compound. He went into get his wife, and she came out walking ever so gingerly with her mom in tow. They live on a pretty bumpy road, and I offered to drive the long way around so it would be smoother, but Daka said, "No, this is a shortcut." So, how do you drive on a bumpy road with a woman who is ready to give birth in your backseat. Well, apparently I was driving too slow because when I asked Daka if should go faster, he said, with urgency in his voice, "Drive faster!" So faster I drove and bumpier it got! But, we made it to the clinic to find that it was pitch dark. The rudimentary hospital was having its load shared at the wrong time. I dropped them off and and then found a parking spot. The hallway was lit by one lone candle. Daka sat in the hallway while his wife and mother in law went inside. I asked if the father was supposed to say outside to which he said yes... Crazy, huh? He shared with me that both his cell phone battery was dead and he was out of talk time (cell phone are pre-paid!) So, I sent him some time and let him have my battery. A few minutes later his mother-in-law came out, asking for 5 pin (5,000 kwacha). I didn't really know what for, but all I had a was a 50,000. So, Daka takes it and out he goes. He comes back with 8 candles. I just contributed to the light for the birth. Seriously, this place is BYOC (bring your own candles.) A few minutes later I heard this woman screaming (anesthesia, what's that?) and then I heard a baby crying. Alas, it wasn't Daka's, because a few minutes later Daka's mother came out and said, "Let's go" to Daka in Nyanga and I took them back to their house. I guess they just leave mother's who are about to have a baby in a dark hospital by themselves in Zambia. Crazy. I'll keep you posted tomorrow about what happened.
Posted by Steve at 1:33 PM