(Read Part 7 HERE)

It was 2:30 in the morning and I was wide awake.  My hammock swung gently, tied to the bamboo posts in Saw Rai’s house.  My bags were packed up, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.  The doctor, who usually slept in the hammock next to mine, had been gone all night.  His bags were neatly stacked in the corner.

The muffled sounds of hushed voices past my hut from time to time.  The field hospital nearby was busy this morning.  A pregnant woman had come in, completely dilated, but the kid wasn’t coming out.  He was stuck–a death sentence for both the mother and child.  This is not particularly uncommon, as the chances of the mother dying in childbirth is about fifty times higher than in the US.  Not an exaggeration.

They told us to go to sleep and that if she didn’t deliver by the early morning, we would have to carry her out to the border, where we would find a large hospital with some advanced equipment.  That’s a serious hike with a backpack, let alone carrying a pregnant woman all the way out.