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January 1, 1968

Dear Mom and Dad,

I spent the holidays bringing two people in from a place about sixty miles here, who were attacked and badly mauled by hyenas. Usually these animals confine themselves to animals that have been killed and left by lions or those that have died. But these days, they are beginning to after people. There have been instances of them carrying off small children, but the attacking of adults seems to be something new. As far as I can gather, there have been eighteen instances so far and four people have been killed. The two women I brought in were attacked in bed. Frequently the Maasai only cover their doorways with cow skin. Not only is this not very much protection, but also there is usually a small space at the bottom of the skin where a hyena can slip in. One woman was attacked in the head, a good part of the skull was visible and the other had the tendon and most of the meat on one calf eaten away. The game department has been alerted but they say they can’t do anything because they are out of ammunition.

I mentioned some time ago that I took the government Swahili exam. It seems that I passed it, so I’ve start now to study Maasai. I’ve only been at it about a week now and it looks very hard, especially the pronunciation. It seems too that the grammar is much more irregular than Swahili. I am hoping that being with the people all the time and working at the bomas will produce something in time.

Love,

Ned

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