[lit-ideas] Sunday Story

Ethiopia is currently bottom of one awful World league table: one in twenty 
seven pregnancies in that country leads to a maternal death.  (Those 
statistics' closest bleak competitors are to be found in Pakistan, India, 
Nigeria.)  At a lecture on the subject this week, we were told tales of women 
the same age as my daughters, the same age as my students, walking to hospital, 
their fourth or fifth child having got stuck.  Since no one goes anywhere in 
the dark, they set off at dawn.  An American doctor on a month's trip out of 
Oregon said she learned to look at knees; if these were scraped and bloody, the 
labor had been long and painful.  

At the time of the talk she'd only been back in the U.S. one day, so as I write 
the woman whose life she saved just before returning is currently recovering 
somewhere in a ward or hut.  That woman was brought to hospital with a ruptured 
uterus.  Seeing how much blood had been lost, the surgeon asked the husband to 
donate.  Afraid of getting AIDS, he refused.  She donated some of her own.  

Today's newspaper's seven day forecast?  "Showers, wet day, dry p.m.?, rain, 
showers, rain chance, partly cloudy."  

Sheila Saltmarsh, Verna Dalrymple, Frances Enabit, Marie Twiss, Walter Benwell 
Hinson II, the Rev Norman Prentice Aldred, Meredith Lokelani Crossley Young, 
Herbert Augustus Preskey, Darrell Dustin De Borde, Marie Theresa (Vinciquerra) 
Rischiotto and Mildred Sanders... died.

Garden Guy was having a good week until "the dogs" suddenly drugged his 
kidneys.  A run to the store for two bottles of cranberry juice solved the 
problem.  His steps, his wall, the whole project are very close to "looking 
tits."  And done.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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