Vol. 21, #8
Apology: Sorry for the extra copies of the newsletter last month. First I lost the connection to the internet while sending my newsletter, and then when the connection came back, I made a couple of mistakes while trying to finish sending it. I have figured out the reason for the multiple copies and hope that it will not happen again.
A short cut through the bush to our hospital here at Endulen brought me face to face with a very strange sight. Two adult baboons were in a pitch battle with a good size dog. I stood transfixed at the howling and barking. The dog was getting in some good hits, but the baboons were clearly in control and seemed to be even playing with the dog. After a few minutes, the dog saw that he was getting the worst of it and took off at a dead run passing a few feet from me. The baboons made no move to follow him and ambled off into the bush. Their troop was not immediately in evidence.
The Conservation authority of Ngorongoro has announced that plastic bags can no longer be sold or carried into the Conservation area. This is great news. We are being buried in plastic bags. Recent years has seen the proliferation of these things. They are used for everything and simply tossed when no longer needed. Here in the trading center of Endulen, one practically needs to wade through a sea of bags and other trash to pass from one shop to another. Hopefully, this new regulation will raise awareness that we are turning our beautiful country of Tanzania and Ngorongoro in particular into a trash bin.
Three of our Osotua program students have been accepted into university, one at Dar es Salaam University to study Political Science and two at Kampala International University in Uganda. One boy has been accepted into medical school and the other for a Bachelors program in Public Administration. These are boys that our Maasai Education program has educated since primary school. Two other boys that also have done very well in secondary school and junior college have as yet not gotten places anywhere.
Parkepu Nakuroi, one of our boys just accepted at the University in Kampala contributes the following:
Arriving by bus at Ngorongoro from Arusha I heard that Lomitu, one of my younger brothers was in police custody at Endulen. It seems that he had beaten his wife insensible and someone had reported it to the police. Nalari, his wife, had taken the calves to graze at the place called Olokeri, an area reserved for pasturing the calves from our village. She was not very attentive and some of the calves wandered off and were lost. On finding out that the calves were lost, my brother flew into a rage and beat Nalari badly. Realizing that she was in pretty bad shape, he slaughtered a goat so that she could drink the special medicinal soup mixed with the fat of the goat and herbs. This soup is given to the sick and weak and has almost magical restorative qualities. Anyway, someone reported the beating and he was hauled off to the lockup.
Earlier in the day that Lomitu was grabbed by the police, he had been cited by the Endulen village authorities for bathing in the Oldugum stream at the place reserved for drawing drinking water. This carries a heavy fine. Lomitu was fined heavily for both of his offenses because he was unrepentant and adamant that he had done no wrong. It was his right, he said, to beat his wife for losing the calves and furthermore from time immemorial the Maasai had bathed in the Oldugum without being bothered. This is the trouble a young warrior can get into when he is very proud and unwilling to admit his mistakes.
A Maasai explanation of how death entered the world,
One day God, the beginner of the earth, told the first man Leeyo that if a child were to die he was to say the following when he threw away the body: “man die, and come back again; moon die and be lost forever”. A child died soon afterwards, but it was not one of the children of Leeyo. When he was told to throw it away, he picked up the body and said to himself: “This child is not mine so when I throw it away I shall say, “Man die and be never come back; moon die but come back again”. He threw away the body of the infant speaking these words and returned home. One of his own children died next, and when he threw it away, he said: “Man die and come back again; moon die and remain away”. God, the beginner of the earth, said to him: “It is of no use now, for you spoilt matters with the other child”. This is how it came about that when a man dies he returns no more, while when the moon is finished, it comes back again and is always visible to us. (Hollis, 1905)
Till next month,