My friend’s friend had a baby this morning. She’s in her late 20s, has three girls at home already and this morning gave birth to her first boy. When she realised she was in labour last night (8pm) she walked 4km to the local hospital, had the baby this morning (4am) and was shoved out the door a few hours later (7am). Not feeling up to walking home again, they called me for a lift and despite being woken on a sleepy Sunday morning, I just couldn’t say no. So there I found myself stopped in the moment, traipsing through a little cornfield following a brand new baby and a line of women back to the hut and reflecting on just how different our journey home from hospital was.
There is very little of life in Mozambique that resembles what I’m used to back home. Sometimes it’s the small things like rubbish collection here, or lack thereof. Sometimes it’s the big things like commitment in marriage here, or lack thereof. I often find myself stopped in my tracks, frantically trying to process what I’m seeing and hearing.
Sometimes the differences are shocking, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes infuriating, sometimes intriguing and sometimes just… different. Maybe this is just starting to happen now that I’ve been here a while and I’m slowly starting to understand a bit more but I find myself seeing not just the differences. Now I’m experiencing the small moments, hearings the quiet words or seeing the fleeting looks of pain or lingering joy that make me realise it’s not so different after all.
This morning it was a jealous three year old, crying at the thought of having to share Mum with a new baby and a joyful family celebrating the safe arrival of a baby boy.