22 New Warriors at dawn

It is the third hour of the night here. In East Africa we tell time in two halves, day time and night time. Each of twelve hours, so it is three o’clock at night here. There is the sound, loud even at a distance of three football fields, of chanting warriors. They are at least a hundred strong and have gathered at the nearby complex of “bomas” to sing through the night. They have assembled to encourage their 22 age mates who will be circumcised at dawn. It will shameful for the boys to show fear during the procedure, where a little cold water is the only pain deadener. At sunrise relatives and age mates will carefully watch for signs of flinching. The stories told of families embarrassed and celebrations spoiled are heart rending…aimed at sending a powerful message …”You better not flinch or even twitch an eyelid.”

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