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October 2010

Endulen Diary
Vol. 25, #2
October, 2010

Electric razor Bee attack, ideas welcome:

During the summer while on home leave I got myself an electric razor
so that I could keep shaving during recovery from carotid artery
surgery. It was so easy to use and did such a good job that I have
continued to use it even after the time that I needed to be free of
razor blades. Returning to Endulen and using the electric razor each
morning I find that the particular frequency of the razor sound
resonates positively with our resident bee population. Every year the
house here becomes the home to a couple of hives of bees. They
build in the walls and happily make their honey and do whatever else
bees do without disturbing us. On the first day back using the razor, I noticed bees exiting the wall of my room and taking a markedly
unwelcoming interest in my morning routine. Turning off the razor
prompted my visitors to return to their home within the walls. Now I go to the furthest part of the house from our resident bees to shave. If anyone knows a way to change the sound frequency of an electric
razor, please let me know.

Lememakwa Olekotonakaya graduated the University of Dar es
Salaam on the twenty third of October with a degree in Economics.
He will be taking up job at Ngorongoro Conservation. Lememakwa
has been part of our Osotua Maasai Education Program for many
years, having been with us since the early years of primary school.
His wife Narropil, whom he married just two months ago, is also one
of my students and now a Clinical Officer (Physicians Assistant.)
Narropil is now doing a degree in counseling at Tumaini University at
Iringa in Southern Tanzania. She hopes to use her psychological
counseling skills to help the AIDS victims that later on will be part of her medical practice.

Cattle market day:

The cattle market took place this week. We have them twice a month
and these days bring together the Maasai people from their far-flung
cattle camps to meet, “eat the news”, and maybe share a roasted leg
of goat and a bottle of beer. It is a very special day for people whose lives are much the same from day to day, interrupted only now and then by a lion attack on their herds or the need to put out a brush fire.

The cattle market is also a place to buy needed foodstuffs like corn,
salt, sugar and tea leaves. Often people meet who have not seen one
another for months or even years. Marriage arrangements too are
often carried forward at the cattle markets, where people can meet
their in-laws.

Sins of our fathers:

I don?t know how to analyze this. A group of young men, warrior age
group, from our various church outstations, are having religious
gatherings in various places to ?bless the land?. They are saying that
there is an underlying reason for the ever increasing poverty among
the Maasai and the perceived threat of losing their grazing lands here
at Ngorongoro. They are saying that the blood spilled by the Maasai
long ago, when the Maasai people virtually ruled East Africa has
brought a kind of curse on the Maasai. These young people are
preaching this and holding gatherings to bless the land and remove
the curse. It seems to me that this is one more indication that the
Maasai are in crisis, pressured by hunger and the threat of being
moved out of their traditional pastoral lands of Ngorongoro.

Till next time?

Ned

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