Friday, December 22, 2006

It's a boy!

The family rushed my host sister, Liana, to the hospital yesterday to deliver her fourth child. We've been anxious to see when she would deliver and more importantly, what the baby's gender would be. We hadn't heard anything when I went to bed last night, but my host mother was praying for a boy.

Every morning I get up extra early, not only to get things done, but just to have some quiet time to myself. Living in a house of eight is a big transition and I enjoy the mornings when I can go downstairs and feel a bit independent. The family doesn't start their day until after 8 a.m., but today when I opened the door I was astonished to see 10 people sitting in the living room! They were all drinking coffee and talking loudly and when I came in (in my long underware) they invited me to sit down and eat chocolates and pomagranates. The baby boy was born this morning around 5:30 and everyone (even some relatives who live down the street) was there to celebrate. I took the fruits and chocolates and began to chat with the father.

Every conversation these days starts with the weather. It's very cold. He made a comment to me that the whole night they were freezing while they waited for the baby and I stopped him mid conversation. "What do you mean you were freezing? Were you not waiting in the hospital room with your wife?" "No, of course not! No one is allowed in her room!" "Don't worry," he said, "I paid the nurse and she let me go in when the doctor was away."

Not a single member of the family slept last night. They spent the evening tending the wood burner, making coffee and talking with each other. The excitement of the new baby's arrival was overwhelming. When I came downstairs this morning they had heard the good news and were discussing the party preparations. This afternoon they killed one of our pigs for the feast.

As we anxiously await Christmas, I would like to wish you all the same joy and excitement. Joy to the whole world! The Lord has come!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2007

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