A sad New Year.  December 27, 2019-January 1, 2020

I spent today at the funeral gathering for the baby.  And it gets worse.  For those of you following from the beginning of this story, you will recall I have two host families, one in the first little village, and another in my current village.  One of my host sisters lived with us, and then moved out when she married.  It was her second marriage and I think she is near 40.  So, at this age, her first pregnancy had risk, especially being poor.  She was due in December, so I have been expecting the call to celebrate.  Instead, I got the call the baby had died and she was in the hospital, very ill.  I asked my tutor friend to call the sister who had delivered the bad news, for the details that were beyond my language skills.


She had started bleeding, and was taken to the small hospital in Immouzier.  They refused to treat her, sending her to Sefrou, about 45 minutes away.  Sefrou refused to treat her, sending her to Fes, another 45 minutes away.  There, she either continued to bleed, or started again.  She begged doctors to help her, to save her baby.  She was told to “go back to sleep”.  The baby died there, inside her, in the hospital, and had to be removed Cesarean.  She came home New Year’s Eve, and they buried the baby this morning.  We are closed for the holiday, and I was able to travel and see all the family.  As if the story were not sad enough, on her bed was the 4-month-old daughter of her sister.  It must have been pure agony, to see this beautiful baby, happy and alive, the center of attention, on what should have been the happiest day of her life, turned to the worst.  I visited everyone, which would have been nice under other circumstances, but had to leave before a late lunch, in order to get home before dark (4 taxis).


I did have a nice visit with the new PCV in the town.


Earlier in the week, I managed to wash my American phone in my jacket breast pocket, and my quick disassemble/hair dryer treatment was not enough to save it.  Likely all my contacts and photos are lost, though I will try the sim cards in another phone, I suppose.  Not sure how to solve that problem, with no Verizon store here.


I bought what looked like a tender porterhouse steak.  On trying to fry it like in America, I learned that the beef is all as tough as the chicken, and it is 4 hours or forget it.


Soccer continues, but I look for a way to wind down early.  I cannot manage 100 kids without help.  The Nour couple and I looked at a potential practice location, more secure and closer to home, but it is too small.  I very sadly learned that my “amazing” 14-year-old, who has been telling me he is calling all 120 players and coaches, actually only called 40 this week, 20 last week.  My fault for trusting a child, but still sad.


I did something really new (for me).  I streamed the Niner-Seahawk game!  I had a lot of trouble figuring out how, and then getting it to work, and the picture was not good, but the audio was fine.  This started at 2:00 am, but since I did not have to work the next day, I just enjoyed the decadence of it all.


The kids asked for a New Year’s party, so we made hats and had our countdown at 12 noon, instead of midnight.  The Director did not come in and they were pretty wild.  There was soda and popcorn everywhere.  Some of the noise-makers did not make noise and they threw a fit.  Stolen soda and balloons.  They were disappointed that there was no cake.  It was a mess.  I had bought sparklers, but held back on those for fear they would burn the place down.  Still, they loved the countdown so much we did it a few times.


Next week I travel to a Mid-Service training, with all the members of “Staj 100”.  I was told that our group of 114 is now down to 89.  We all get medical and dental exams to celebrate the mid-way point.  I fear I am putting on weight.  Too many holiday goodies from home.  I will find out soon enough.