E is my midwife. She is 60 years old and she has been assisting mothers push their babies out into the world for over 30 years. E doesn’t plan to retire soon and will wait for the mandatory retirement age according to the Civil Service Commission.
A is on duty with E. A is younger, in her late 30s. Her husband is working as a baker in Papua New Guinea and they have a dusky-skinned daughter named M. Eight-year old M is the spitting image of her mother — both in looks and temperament. A wants to migrate to Canada and she has discussed this with her husband. Her husband is digging his heels. Is he having an affair?
Later today, Gg will report for duty, together with R. Gg is short and bristly; her husband works for a news anchor/local celebrity who possesses the same aura of bristly-ness as Gg. The local celebrity is the wife of one of the most powerful men in this country. Gg’s husband, T, sometimes dabbles in politics, and their daughter, L, seems to be following dad’s footsteps. Is she going to be the Margaret Thatcher of my country? I will ask her later. She will probably laugh at my face and think that I am joking.
R is Gg’s partner until 4 pm today. I hope the two of them will be able to take on all the pregnant moms who will come because I have been stitching vaginas all night and I’m sleepy. R is the newest midwife in the clinic. She came back from Saudi Arabia a year ago. She was a midwife in a government hospital in Riyadh for 9 years. She came back because she found out that her husband was fooling around with another woman and her 2 children were beginning to hate her. Since I recently contemplated working abroad, R was a very valuable resource person for me.
I studied for 7 years after high school, went through 6 years of post-graduate training. But I have learned more valuable lessons from my midwives than from all the years I spent in tertiary education.