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August 2001 Part 2

Endulen Diary
Vol. 16, No. 9
August, 2001

August 5

First Maasai girl in Tanzania graduates as a full registered nurse:
Nine and a half years ago Naado finished primary school and I took
her from very reluctant parents to secondary school (high school) run
by the Christian brothers in Arusha. The only place I could find for
her to stay was with a WaArusha family on mount Meru, the extinct
volcano that overlooks Arusha town. The school was a good seven
miles from the home of the family she stayed with. It is hard to
believe, but she walked the fourteen miles every day of school for
four years. At one point, I bought a bike for her thinking it would
help. She tried it on a couple of occasions but became afraid of
getting mugged by someone who wanted to steal the bike, so went back
to footing it. Finishing secondary school, she spent a year at our
local hospital here in Endulen as a kind of nurse s aid seeing how
she would like a medical career. She enjoyed her year at Endulen
Hospital and was accepted into the nursing program run by the Huruma
sisters on Mount Kilimanjaro. Although four years at Huruma were
difficult, she lived at the school and had no transportation
problems. Just a couple of weeks ago, she returned here to Endulen,
finished with her final exams and with the diploma of a registered
nurse. She hasn t decided in which hospital she will nurse, only that
she wants to nurse in Maasai County. Naado received a couple of
offers to work in hospitals outside Maasai country and has turned
them down. I am very proud of her, as many of you must be who have
helped to make possible her education over the years.

August 11

Plant causes major eye trouble in Ngorongoro Highlands:
There is a plant here that grows to about three or four feet. During
the rains it is a brilliant green and at the end of the rains it put
out beautiful yellow flowers. During the dry season it is a
disaster. The flowers dry to thin wispy strands and crumble to dust
at the slightest touch. These easily get into the eyes of people and
cattle causing at least temporary blindness. This year the situation
is worst than in most years. The Maasai scrape the eyeball with the
edge of an elder s blanket to get the abrasive dust out and it
doesn t come easily. During the past couple of months I ve had to
take a couple of people to the hospital to get their eyes flushed
out.

August15
Wet nurse no problem:

This month saw the sudden and unexpected death of the wife of one of
my teachers. The seventeen-year-old girl gave birth early in the
afternoon and blood wouldn t stop coming. Her sister came from the
village, a mile from the mission, to call me, and we got in the car
and took her to the sisters at the hospital. She had already lost a
lot of blood and died at about 8:00 that evening. The next morning,
another teacher and I drove to Arusha and then to Kilimanjaro to call
Lazaro, the husband, who is doing an updating course on Mount
Kilimanjaro. It was a very sad time for all of us. The newborn
infant girl was very healthy. I was very surprised to learn that
there is no problem about milk for the baby. I was told that any
woman who has once given birth can suckle the child by just letting
the child nurse on her empty breast and in a few days the milk will
come. The mother of the girl who died hasn t given birth in a number
of years, yet she took the child and the milk started to come with no
difficulty in just a short time.

August 20
Trailer for water and firewood:

We have just about destroyed the seats and body in the back of our
Toyota land cruiser hauling firewood and water for the last three and
a half years. The new trailer, made for us by Indian Sing metal
workers in Arusha, is a simple open bed one to pull behind the car.
What a difference it makes! We have been using it for both water and
firewood for about a week and a half now and it was great. No more
do we fill up the back of the car with sloshing buckets and firewood
with all kinds of sharp edges to tear up everything in the back of
the car. It is great too for hauling bags of corn and beans that are
the staple diet of our prep school students.

August 23
A mutant form of the creeping crud:

Scabies is and always has been a big problem among the children in
Maasai country. There is a form of it that just won t respond to the
ordinary ointment. It just keeps spreading over an ever-larger area
of the body and even the hospital doesn t seem to be able to help it.
The Maasai use home churned butter mixed with the dried and ground
up long thin leaves of a dark purple flowered plant. This mixture
needs to be applied by the mother or father of twins or a person who
is a twin. The people here say that this treatment is invariably
successful.

Till next month

Ned

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