Vol. 19, #5
In a nearby Maasai village, Namunyak was covering the roof of her house with grass in preparation for the cow dung covering that would make it a warm and snug Maasai home. From one of a load of grass she unpacked, there popped a long black snake that struck at her arm before she realized what was happening. Fortunately Sangau, a young warrior of the village, ran for one of the black stones that draw out poison venom when placed over a snake bite. Sangau quickly tied the stone to the wound with a strip of cloth and the Namunyak survived. In a separate incident in the same village, Naomon, an old lady, was bitten by a snake while building her cooking fire to prepare the evening meal. The long black snake had crawled out of the stack of firewood next to the hearthstones. Naomon, with a leg swollen to three times its’ normal size, is recovering in Endulen hospital.
I received an email from Elifuraha Laltaika, one of my students from Nainokanoka. He is presently in his third year of Law School in Dar-es-Salaam. Laltaika tells me that the results have just been released and Loleku OleNgaire, another of my students from Nainokanoka, has been selected to do a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He will begin the program at the University of Dar in July. Both Laltaika and Loleku were here for our Osotua Pre-Form I program in 1993
Rabid dogs have become a problem again here at Ngorongoro. Conservation has mounted another of its periodic campaigns against rabies. In the first stage, teams of game scouts moved into various areas shooting every dog they could find. Now, in a second stage, vets are going from Maasai village to village inoculating the remaining dog population. In Maasai country domestic dogs are found in all areas of Ngorongoro and the areas bordering the Serengeti. They are kept for guarding property and herding livestock.
A very old man, Parorik, was traveling from Olbalbal to Kakesio on the edge of the Serengeti. Dusk coming down, and tired from his full day of walking, he turned aside and stopped at a Maasai village to break his journey. The elders of the village receive Parorik, gave him curdled milk to drink and a place to sleep. Early the next morning Kadogo, the woman of the house where he had been given shelter, tried to awaken him. She could not rouse him. She called her husband and they found that the old man was dead. This caused great consternation in the village and fear too. People are discussing with each other trying to figure out why this happened to their village.
A warrior by the name of Ndekeyo of Olmisigio drank a serious amount of pure distilled alcohol last night. He passed out and could not be roused. His warrior friends made a stretcher of cow skin and carried him to the clinic at Ngorongoro. He died with out ever regaining consciousness. Ikaiyo, his mother, is devastated. Ndekeyo is the fifth of her children to die. People of her village are watching her carefully to see that she does not attempt suicide.
Maasai Proverb of the month:
“Pashupashut anaa enkerai natii enkaji e koko enye.”
(He is as proud as the child living at its grandmother’s house.)
Till next month….Ned