December 2008

Endulen Diary
Vol. 23, #12
December, 2008

Getting there when it rains…

I hope that you have had good holidays. During this two week period I am getting around to many of my Maasai outstations. On my way to Kaitekiteng this week I had no problems. This place is an hour and a half from Endulen and is located on the top of Makorot mountain. At Kaitekiteng one looks down on the Serengeti plains to the West and Ngorongoro crater to the East. It rained heavily in the mountains during the hours spent with the Maasai community there. On the return trip the steep mountain track cutting through deep forest was very slippery. On one very steep grade, the tires refused to dig in. Every time I tried to climb the narrow track with deep drop offs on my left, the wheels spun till they smoked. After two hours of laying brush along the track and ten unsuccessful tries at making the top, I went for broke. At the bottom of the hill there was a flat space. Giving myself as much room to get up speed as possible, I put the land cruiser in four wheel drive low ratio. In second gear, I gunned the engine and was doing almost thirty when I got to the bottom of the grade. The car careened up the slope, at times coming alarmingly near the edge. The car somehow kept moving though, stalling just a few yards from the top. At that point, there was enough traction to make it the rest of the way in first gear. When I got out of the car at the level space on the top of the hill, I was shaking.

The sun and his wife, the moon…

In the beginning the sun married the moon. They traveled together for a long time, the sun leading and the moon following. As they traveled, the moon would get tired and the sun would carry her for three days every month. This is why it is said that donkeys are able to see the moon on the fourth day. People can only see the moon on the fifth day.

One day the moon made a mistake and she was beaten by the sun just the same way women are beaten by their husbands. But it happened that the moon was one of those short tempered women who fight their husbands. When she was beaten, she fought back and wounded the sun’s forehead. The sun also beat the moon and scratched her face and plucked out one of her eyes. When the sun realized that he was wounded, he was very embarrassed and said to himself, “I am going to shine so hard that people will not be able to look at me.” And so he shone so hard that people could not look at him without squinting. That is why the sun shines so brightly. As for the moon, she did not feel any embarrassment and so she did not have to shine any brighter. And even now, if you look closely at the moon, you will see the wounds that the sun inflicted on her during their fight. The wounds given to the sun by his wife the moon are visible also, but harder to see.

Till next month,

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