Rachel is now 17 years old. She has a subdued birthday—her second in the Congo. On her first birthday in the Congo, Orleanna cried, but didn’t give her any nice presents, and Rachel thought this was the worst birthday she’d ever have. On this second birthday, however, her siblings have forgotten it’s her birthday at all. Orleanna remembers, and gives Rachel a pair of earrings and a bracelet. Rachel thanks Orleanna, but is dismayed when Orleanna then returns to taking care of Ruth May.
It’s somewhat funny that this chapter arrives right after the previous one, as Rachel’s anxieties seem so petty compared with Ruth May’s, and Ruth May is only five years old.