Jack, my piki driver, said one day, "I think we will be having a visitor soon."
If you are familiar with my previous "visitor" experience, you will be glad to know that I didn't ask if someone was coming to stay with his family or if a thief was expected to break in.
This time I knew...his wife was going to give birth.
A few days later, Jack told me that Gasi was at the hospital, so Florence and I rushed over.
We found out that Gasi was having contractions really far apart, but the baby wasn't coming. But since the baby seemed too large to the medical "authorities," they wouldn't let her go home. (She had her Maama Kit with her, ready to go, though)
So we sat.
Under a tree.
This is Florence and all of Gasi's (and Jack's aunts) belongings. Since you don't get an assigned room to yourself, you have to carry your belongings with you wherever you go (including the charcoal and pot for cooking). The rooms are just large, camp-style with wall-to-wall beds.
Below is Gasi.
This is Abuku. She is my favorite of all of Jack's aunts. She is funny, loves to laugh, and since she doesn't have any children of her own, she helps everyone else take care of theirs.
She loves having conversations with me in Lugbara. She cannot speak English, so hanging out with her is definitely good practice for me.
Her name means "still the one to bury." Her father had 5 girls, and when she born, the relatives commented that even though she was a girl, she would "still be the one to bury" her father.
Below is Driwaru. Her name means "coming out of an accidental curse." Her family believes the mother was accidentally cursed, and when Driwaru was born, they took it as a sign, that the mother was "coming out of it."
The last one is Nyakuru. Her name means "still for the soil." I wasn't getting the meaning totally. It was because her first sibling died, and maybe she was a replacement ???
Because of these names, I recalled all the other names I have learned since being here.
Sadly, relatives often give these morose, sad names to children.
Gasi (Jack's wife's name) means "refusing," because she wasn't wanted.
Bako - "has no relative"
Adriko - "has no brother"
Amviko - "has no sister"
Anguyo - "no place" (the wife doesn't have a piece of land and they don't feel welcome at home)
Lekuru - "not liked"
Draru - "death" (sickly child / mom almost died / or no proper treatment after exile)
Agasiru - "refusing" (means child's mother's relative didn't want her to marry that man)
Candiru - "sadness" or "problem"
Ocokoru - "misery"
E'yotaru - "tolerating problems"
Okuonzi - "bad woman" (the child's mother given this name by the father's relatives)
Aziku - "she doesn't work for the clan" (also about the child's mother)
Angudubo - "place is bushy" (all family has died and no one keeps the grounds)
Ojuruko - "termite" (the child is not human; it's a termite for the ground b/c it won't live. This name was given in the instance that her two older siblings had died)
I've even met an Alpha Omega (he was the first and last child of his mother...she died.
Well, now we come to two days later. I arrived at the hospital to check on Gasi, and Abuku was sitting under the tree outside, holding the new baby!!
Right as I started talking to them, Jack drives up with a driver in a car taxi. It is to bring everyone home from the hospital.
She had just given birth THREE hours before, and now she was headed home!
They all invited me to ride with them, so Gasi, the baby, the three aunts and I got in the taxi for the journey home.
They dropped me off at my road, and I went to see them two days later, with Kylie, bearing gifts of food for the family.
He is a beautiful baby.
Jack, Gasi, Sayida, and Jamal (who was given his name one and a half weeks later).