Monday, April 6, 2009


I suppose I should bring some sort of closure to this, now that I have left my adventures in Vanuatu far behind and have returned to the Pacific Northwest.

My final day there I decided to go in for a few hours before leaving for the airport. Three, count them, three women were all on the verge of birthing their babies as the minutes ticked by, closer and closer to when I had decided I really had to return to my room to shower and catch my airport ride. Finally, I gave up and took my leave, for the second time (I had said goodbye the day before, as I hadn't planned on going in again). Apparently less than half an hour later one of the babies was born. Of course, my ride to the airport was a half hour late, so I missed the birth for naught. No huge drama, but still...

It took three flights to get me back home, and almost 24 hours of travel time.
It snowed/sleeted the day after I got home.

I have had a blessedly slow reentry to life here, as slow as the two happy, healthy children with whom I happen to live, and who have been home for school vacation week, will allow.

I miss the lushness of the island, the constant sweating (very cleansing), the smiles of the women at the hospital (oh, if I only knew what they were thinking when they smiled at me), the words of thanks expressed after catching someone's baby, and those babies.

I don't miss the constant sweating, the multitude of bugs, the peculiar smell at the hospital, Medol - a "wide spectrum hospital grade disinfectant" with active ingredient 4-chloro-3, 5-xylenol (as I have since learned, thanks to, or being smacked in the face daily with the reality of life there.

I would go back, and I wish I had had more time to spend there.