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Oloicura’s dilemma

Oloicura has signed on with me here at Olbalbal to watch the place when I am out in the villages and when I go overnight to the main mission on the crater rim. Yesterday, he came with a big problem. He needs to get his wife and three children back. Years ago, Oloicura went to the village of a local elder and undertook to herd his cattle for years, about ten. The elder on his side agreed to give Oloicura his daughter in marriage. This is a common way for a Maasai man to marry, if he doesn’t have cattle to give his prospective father-in-law.
Oloicura shepherded the old man’s herd for some years and then was given one of the family’s daughters for his wife. Oloicura continued to live with his father in law and to herd his cattle. The old man also gave Olocura sufficient cattle for the house of his daughter. Three children came along and everything was going well. Then things went very bad very fast. Oloicura got into an argument with his mother-in-law. The disagreement escalated to name calling and some very serious accusations and nasty language. The mother-in-law, in a fit of rage went to her husband and demanded that he take his daughter back together with the children and chase Oloicura away. To maintain peace in the family he agreed to do as his wife wanted. This is where the situation stands and now oloicura wants me to act in the name of his father who is very old and lives far away. He wants me to go with him to ask forgiveness and get his family back. He figures that my position as the padre here in Olbalbal might prompt his mother-in-law to accept his apologies. Another bazaar factor in the mix is that both he and his mother-in-law are members the small group of fifteen that lead the singing in our Christian community here. I’ve asked around and a couple of the leading elders of the area tell me that there is no way that Oloicura’s mother in law is going to relent. Her feelings run too deep.

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