Remember this picture? It was taken as we left the clinic just over a week ago. Our plan had been to call on our very reliable taxi driver, Basse, to take us home. But then Kyle and Maggie offered to come pick us up.
How could they have known that this might become the most regretted Facebook post in history?
We were aiming to leave the clinic at noon and Kyle and Maggie were going to arrive early to visit a bit first. Shortly after noon I started getting text messages from Mags about being stuck in traffic. Still stuck in traffic. An accident on the autoroute. No progress. Ooh – just went into second gear. Moving very slowly. Etc…
They finally did make it to the clinic, we snapped a photo at the door, loaded up the van and headed home. Home, by the way, is located less than six miles from the clinic. The first leg of the trip went quickly. We took a back road along the ocean to avoid the congestion downtown.
Then a grinding halt.
And I mean HALT. The thin two-lane road we were on had become five lanes in some spots with motorcycles weaving in and out in both directions. Men with push-carts couldn’t even maneuver between the crammed in vehicles. Dump trucks were attempting U-turns. People were everywhere, trying to figure out how to undo this knot of traffic that was getting – somehow – worse and worse.
Did I mention the raw sewage in the street and the semi-truck next to us whose black exhaust fumes were blowing right at our window level? I kept looking at Pape thinking, “What have we brought him into?”
Six miles to home, and we were about three miles into this traffic snarl. Three miles. Seriously, if not for the C-section three days prior, I really might have started walking. It was not clearing at all and I thought I was going to lose it.
Then one of the many people directing traffic (not that anyone was really moving) gestured for us to pull into a gas station to get off the road and alleviate some of the pressure at the intersection. So we did.
Thankfully, there was shade where we could park for a bit and a a little shop attached to the station. Cheikh went to get us water bottles and ice cream, while Mags took Hayley out for some fresh air. That lasted about 47 seconds. It was too hot out, so they came back into the van.
It was around that point that we decided Hayley’s little dress and Pape’s little coming home outfit needed to come off. I was, once again, very thankful for my collapsible Spanish fan as I sat there trying to cool him off and not drip ice cream on his bright red little self.
But you know what? Eventually, we did make it home. Pape slept through the whole trip home. All six miles and nearly three hours of it. Kyle and Maggie were great – they kept positive attitudes and helped me keep from cracking into insanity. And needless to say, if the ever need a kidney or something, we owe them big time. 😉
PS – In case you’re wondering… Yes, I did type this post one-handed while holding a fitfully sleeping Pape in the other.