January 2011

Endulen Diary
Vol. 26, #1
January 2011

I am happy to report that because of the generosity of the readers of this newsletter, I have been able to assist with full payment of tuition and other school fees twelve Maasai girls and eight Maasai boys for the first half of 2011. Also partial help in the form of fifty dollars each has gone to nine other Maasai girls and two boys. The total dispersed among these students to pay for first semester expenses is $6,400 dollars. Included among these is a Maasai girl being supported by the Conservation Authority of Ngorongoro in school to become a Clinical Medial Officer? I have given her $100 dollars for expenses during the first half of the year. On behalf of these Maasai young people of Ngorongoro, may I offer a heartfelt thanks to all of you that have helped.

Thoughts from Florian Schneider, a medical student, who has undertaken the daunting project of raising money for a maternity wing for our hospital here in Endulen:

At the age of 19 I stayed for one year with the Holy Ghost Fathers among the nomadic Borana in southern Ethiopia. I was used to people moving from one place to the other and that certain type of carefree character and proud attitude, which seems to come along. But was the only reason of seeking new places to find fresh grazing grounds for their cattle or did the idea become already so fixed in the minds of people that they cannot live without it anyway? I never found a solution at that time.

Since I came to Endulen in Tanzania I have seen so many Europeans fascinated by the nomadic way of living of the Maasai.ΓΏ Is it because the nomadic lifestyle is the complete opposite of our European way of living with one family in one house at one place? I just knew that I had to face the same kind of characters and attitudes again, which I was not thrilled with at the beginning. I always had the impression that eyes were following me. Not the eyes of small children in the town looking for entertainment or some small sweets. They seemed to watch my actions and movements quite closely. Greetings were only exchanged, when I started and then only in Maa, the Maasai language. Since most of the staff in the hospital are not Maasai and since the other Tanzanian tribes have a lot of prejudices against the Maasai, I was soon filled with negative images.

It took me quite a while to get some Maasai friends, who introduced me slowly to the Maasai culture and the behavior towards the different age groups. I could ask them all the questions, which were in my head for such a long time. Since then I had the impression that I was more open, which reflected towards the openness of the Maasai. I was invited to come into their Bomas and even to big celebrations and rituals, which I always took as a big honor.

Patience and positive intentions were my keys to the big miracles of the Maasai culture, which I am still trying to understand. So far we could learn a lot about their deliveries and the role of traditional birth attendants at home to be able to build a new maternity ward at Endulen Hospital. The plans were designed together with mothers and their traditional midwives.

Maasai herd boy attacked by buffalo,

In light drizzle and intermittent fog Loishiye, the son of Mishilyeki, was herding his goats in heavy bush last week in the area of Endulen called Ndarpoi. In the shelter of low hanging tree branches sheltered a cape buffalo with her small calf. When Loishiye was not far she stood and waited, protecting her calf. Unaware of the buffalo, the young warrior wandered close and the buffalo charged. She hit him with her head and fortunately missing him with her sharp thorns. He was battered in the back and legs and collapsed leaving the buffalo to wander off with her calf. His shepherding warrior companion soon found him, got him up and after staggering for a few steps Loishiye collapsed again. Leaving him, his friend ran to their village called people to help. A number of men soon arrived and carried the boy back to the village. His father, Mishilyeki ran to the mission to call me. I went with our Toyota Land Cruiser to retrieve Loishiye from the village and take him to our mission hospital here at Endulen where he is slowing recovering from his ordeal.

Till next month,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *