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June 2008

Endulen Diary
Vol. 23, #6
June, 2008

Cape Buffalo claim two victims…
During the past couple of weeks two people have been gored and killed by buffalo. One was an elder walking through a wooded patch just north of the Endulen shops. A woman was also killed by a buffalo as she cut firewood in some thick bush just South of Endulen village at Esirua.

As the dry season deepens these days, many animals are gravitating to higher and more wooded country. Here at Endulen, on the edge of the Ngorongoro highlands, there is still some green grass and long dry grass in abundance. In the short ten minute trip from the mission to the hospital this morning, there were two sizable herds of zebra and a few Cape buffalo, in addition to many of the animals that are always here. This morning these included impala, wild pig, and a few pairs of the tiny antelope call Dikdik. As the weeks go by and the land below bordering on the Serengeti becomes fully clothed in the dull dusty brown mantle of the dry season, elephants too are attracted to our abundant stands of acacia trees.

We have a doctor…

Last Saturday, Narropil Siroiyan graduated a Clinical Officer. This Tanzanian designation is somewhere between a Nurse Practitioner and a Medical Doctor. Her study program was three years following Form Five and Six (the first two college years in American terms). Underwriting her studies at Machame Lutheran Hospital on Mount Kilimanjaro was the Lutheran Church and Doctor Mark Jacobson of Salien Lutheran Hospital in Arusha. Narropil has been here at Endulen mission since her earliest years in primary school. Her father has constantly been trying to marry her off since she was quite small hoping to reap the benefits of a significant bride price in cattle. When she was much younger, OleSiroiyan took her away from school any number of times. Fortunately, I was always able to get her back using one ruse or another. Now we have in Narropil, a Maasai woman doctor, who will take her place in Maasai country with intimate knowledge of the language, situation, and problems of the people. She has worked hard at her school work all these years. I am very proud of her. Her father is now suddenly proud of her accomplishments and new status, knowing that he will be getting plenty of help from her.

Maasai making peace…

If the Maasai make peace with other people, whether enemies or other Maasai with whom they have fought, the warriors seize two important elders, and take a cow which has a calf and a woman who has a baby; the enemy does the same. They then meet together at a certain spot, everybody present holding grass in his right hand, and exchange the cattle. The child of the enemy is suckled at the breast of the Maasai woman, and the baby of the Maasai at the breast of the woman belonging to the enemy.

After this they return to their kraals, knowing that a solemn peace has been entered into. Thus was peace restored between the sections of the Maasai in the first year of the sun at the place called the Ford of Sangaruna. Formerly when the Maasai did not wish to make a solemn peace with people of other tribes, they entered into blood brotherhood with them. A Maasai elder would sit down with one of the elders of the enemies; each of them would then cut his left arm, and after dipping in blood some meat of a bullock which was killed on the spot, would eat it. When they finish, the Maasai and their protagonists part, but as often as not do not keep the peace. (Hollis pg. 321)

Till next month,
Ned

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