Those words seem so out of place in our remote area of PNG. No shopping, no hustle and bustle, no last-minute-buying, none of the things that stress out our friends in the West.
Here in PNG it is Christmas Eve. The clinic is closed today and tomorrow, except for emergencies. Lena and her nurse co-worker, Rachel Schellenberger, had agreed to see a couple of young burn victims for dressing changes and a snakebite victim for follow-up. Nothing much for our dear nurses to handle.
We’re blessed to live next door to our son and his family. The only family tradition we have here is Christmas Eve dinner at our house. Lena has been looking forward to it for a long time. And hey, the clinic is closed! Plenty of time to prepare the dinner. Piece of cake.
Then comes the note scrawled on scrap paper. A new mother is having complications in birth downriver from our place. Lena and Rachel headed down to assist. For them, it was fairly routine: the birthing mom is outside on the wet ground, downhill from the house; the baby arrives with the cord around the neck–twice; then there’s the post-delivery duties every delivery room nurse knows about. Except for doing it in the mud.
All is finished; new mom and baby are doing well, so Rachel and Lena come home. And Lena cleans up and prepares Christmas Eve dinner. Just in time.
Yeah. She’s wonder woman. And we’re blessed. For us, the holidays aren’t really that stressful.