Saturday, September 26, 2015
Project Canaan Green Bean Picker delivers baby on the side of the road
Yesterday was a typical day in Swaziland. It’s incredible how so many human emotions can be felt in one day, always leaving you emotionally exhausted. Yesterday was just another one of those days.
It started scary. Ian and I were having breakfast when I suddenly choked on a piece of toast. There was no air going in to my lungs and we looked at each other in a panic. He asked me if I was okay and I shook my head “no”. He asked if I needed help and I nodded, unable to get an ounce of air in to my lungs. Ian quickly starting doing the Heimlich maneuver and after 6 or 7 tries finally dislodged the bread. It took me at least 10 minutes of terrible coughing to get to a place of normal breathing, and I was left with a splitting headache (even as I type this a day later). I am thankful to be alive and thankful that Ian was there and knew what to do.
Shortly after that I got a call from Brooke saying that a woman from the farm had just given birth and the newborn was tiny, alive and at the El Rofi Medical Clinic. What?? I jumped on an ATV, flew down to the baby home to pick up clothes, diapers, blankets etc, and then proceeded (at the speed of light) to the clinic.
Sure enough, there was a brand spankin’ new baby boy weighing 2.46 KG (5.4 lbs – which is a good sized baby here). The mother was working picking green beans on the farm on a very hot sunny day. She was dizzy and thirsty so went to her Supervisor for some water. The Supervisor sent her to the medical clinic located about one mile from where she was picking. As she walked along the new Living Water Dam when she had to stop because a baby was coming out. She delivered the baby on to the dirt (alone), wrapped the baby in the skirt that she had wrapped around her pants/trousers then delivered the placenta. She found a hole in the ground and dumped the placenta in the hole, then proceeded to walk to the clinic.
As she passed the Kufundza Carpentry center one of the workers (named Fortunate) saw the woman and came out to help her. She carried the baby while the two made their way to the clinic. When she arrived Brooke and Sister Grace were there. Grace pointed at the wet child wrapped in a skirt and said, “What is that?? Is that a baby?!” The answer was yes. The mother thought she was only 3-months pregnant. Nope, she was wrong.
Beth Blaisdell also just happened to be giving a tour of the clinic to Ali and MacKensie from Cox-Curry who are visiting from Georgia. It’s always fun to have outside “witnesses” to the crazy things that happen here.
Brooke carefully wiped the dirt off the baby and clamped the umbilical cord, weighed him and then called me. The calmness and professionalism that Brooke ALWAYS exudes, never ceases to amaze me. She is a rock star.
The mother went and washed while we all looked at the baby. I congratulated her, called Ken to drive her to home and then realized I was almost late for my next appointment.
I hopped back on my ATV and flew up to the Project Canaan Academy Primary School where the foundation was being poured. Our wonderful friends at WLA (Women Leaders in Action) provided the funds to get the Primary School underway and we were honored to have the founder of WLA, Pam Joseph, here for the laying of the foundation. WLA also funded the Preschool and Kindergarten buildings.
We had Head teacher, Amber VanWinkle, along with the children who are currently in the Kindergarten class, all present for the big event. They all got to put their hands in the wet cement and then write their names on the first classroom floor. Next we moved them to a separate piece of wet concrete where the first 3 students who will attend Primary School placed their right hand in the concrete. Amber, Pam and Ian followed and that piece will be designed in to the wall or walkway of the Primary School.
From there Ian and I made a quick drive in to town to buy 5 buckets of KFC and 66 chicken strips for the Emseni kids and all the Children’s Campus staff, a treat for all thanks to Pam. The chicken was delivered, the big kids settled in with our guests for movie night at The Oasis and Ian and I came home, closed the gates, turned on the electric fencing, let out the dogs and crashed on the couch.
Live from Swaziland … every day is a gift from God.