No, we aren’t announcing a new baby for us! Lizbeth, who has been helping me learn the Menyan language, had her fifth baby on Friday. On Sunday we went over to meet the new baby girl. When we got there Lizbeth was sitting there holding the baby in a bilum (bag made out of string) in her lap peeling tapioc–the potato looking things in the picture. Just what any of us would be doing with our two day old baby, right?? Most of us haven’t even left the hospital when our babies are two days old, or have just arrived home and are certainly not the ones fixing meals!
But here things are a bit different. These ladies are tough! Lizbeth had told me she was going to the local clinic to have this baby, but when it came down to it, she and her husband decided they couldn’t afford it, so she did what most all the women here do–had the baby in the bush. No doctors or nurses, nothing sterile, but one positive, as she pointed out, nothing much to clean up!
Lucy was pretty enamored with the sweet baby girl. Boy was she precious! She slept the whole time we were there–even when I asked to hold her and she had to get taken out of her warm bilum! SO cute!
Here we all are crammed into the tiny cook house doting over the baby. “The baby.” As is custom here, she hasn’t been given a name yet. I’m not sure when exactly she will be named, but it isn’t ever right away, so for now, she is “the baby” or “baby girl”.