Musa, almost two, has been with us for a year. A year ago, while on high school vacation, Lenkangu Moses was visiting some friends at a nearby Maasai village. Beside the village entrance, he came upon a small child, pathetically thin and crying. Lenkangu was surprised to see this child. Children in Maasai country are normally well cared for by the family and the village. This was clearly not true in the case of Musa. Lenkangu learned that Musa’s mother had died some months before and, at the same time. Maasailand was experiencing the worst dry season in years. In fact, most of the people had moved into the highlands of Ngorongoro taking their cattle into the high country where grass was still to be found. This left Musa with the co-wives of his dead mother who themselves had numerous children. The family gave Musa a small share of the available milk, but it was far from sufficient and the child was slowly starving to death. People had pretty much given up on the infant and expected him to die very soon.
On his return to the mission, Lenkangu told us the story of Musa. We sat talking, wondering if there wasn’t something that we might do to save the dying boy. Naponu is the lady that lives here on the mission and watches the place when the catechist and I go to the villages to teach. She offered to undertake the care of Musa if I would buy milk for him each day. That same day we sought out Musa’s father and told him that we would like to care for the child until he might be in a position himself to provide for his son. He immediately agreed saying that He had given up on Musa and expected him to die.
After getting the approval of Musa’s father we brought the child to the mission to be cared for by Naponu. Musa has been with us a year now and is thriving. He gets plenty of milk and lots of attention. It has taken many months for him to recover from his months of starvation. He still doesn’t walk by himself as do most other children of his age, but his legs are becoming stronger every day, and soon he’ll be taking his first steps. Musa’s father and people of the village come by often to see how Musa is doing.