This week started with me watching a newborn baby die as my coworker tried to give her CPR to give the poor baby girl a chance. And by newborn I mean like minutes old.
It was devastating to me to watch, even though the baby's mother had no desire to help her. "Just let it die, " she said. It was her third girl and she knew her husband wanted a boy.
It was hard to be angry at this mom, though. She is a second wife (meaning the man has two wives- not divorced) and the first wife has already given this man a son. She is also hated so much by the first wife that she has been marked as witch, had to leave her home, and now has to live in fear of her life every day.
Oh, and did I mention that her husband is one of most evil people in Hewa? He once told our coworker to leave him alone because he was working for Satan.
So...no, I couldn't really be mad at Mom. In fact, I wasn't really mad at anyone. Just sad. It was the second death in two weeks, and I just really wanted to escape. Our break couldn't have been timed more perfectly.
We spent the last two days shuttling food and some preparation materials for our other coworkers who will start building their house in March. It was very fun, but also very exhausting, so we couldn't have been happier to hop on the helicopter this afternoon to start our break.
If I had known what that ride would entail, I would have just stayed in the tribe- no matter what. We flew out with beautiful blue skies, but not long into the flight we were hit hard with rain, wind and dark clouds.
Our pilot quickly made the call to land in a village with some clear areas to wait out the storm (I now love helicopters for their amazing abilities to land almost anywhere). The villagers came running up with axes and machetes (and later we saw some homemade shotguns). I knew we were in an area that was notorious for bold, sometimes violent people, but after we got out and explained that we needed to land because of the rain, they were very kind and took us inside one of their buildings while we waited. They even told us we were welcome to spend the night if the rain didn't clear up. And honestly, when you have a fear of flying and things get sketchy in the air, you would rather land in the middle of a field of hungry lions and take your chances with them.
Soon the skies cleared enough for us to take off again, so we said goodbye to our new friends. Not long after, we ran into more scary rain and thought we were going to have to land again. The pilot looked for a good place, but couldn't find one. At this point I am yelling at my kids to stop what they are doing and "PRAY TO JESUS, RIGHT NOW!" After we prayed, there was still no place to land, but the sky opened up enough for us to go safely through. Jesus knew what He was doing, because Mama may not have gotten back on the chopper if we landed that second time.
Anyway, the rest of the trip was pretty scary for me, with a lot more rain and wind, but our amazing pilot had everything under control and got us to our destination safely. I am pretty sure that I am going to have to adopt a baby boy now, just so I can name him after this pilot! My oldest daughter even told the first person we saw when we landed, "Mr. Ray saved our lives!"
So, I am writing this post to tell you that I will now be living in Goroka forever. I am sorry for all the money that all of you put into our tribal house. And I am sorry, Mom, that I will not be bringing your grandchildren to visit you in America ever again. From now on, I stay on the ground. FOREVER. That is, unless my husband tranquilizes me first.
Forever Flying Medicated in the Future,
The Tribal Wife