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Bad Water

Oiti is the name of a tree with small thorns and also the name of a area of Olbalbal. In recent days many people have come from Oiti to the small government clinic here at Olbalbal complaining of serious stomach cramps and vomiting. The people figured that it must be from the water of a small dam at Oiti where everyone draws water. But no one could figure out why the water had all of a sudden gone bad. Then a zebra was found rotting away in the deepest part of the pool. The people have dragged the zebras carcass out of the dam and hopefully the problem will clear up. The bad water has so far killed two people and made many others very ill. Continue reading Bad Water

Korduni Bounces Back

Korduni, the 14 month old son of Niomom who takes care of the house here, was fainting and had a very high fever last week. I took them to the American Doctor’s hospital in Karatu that is a two and a half hour

Korduni and his mother, Niomom.

drive from here at Olbalbal. They kept him for two days there and were fearful that the major swelling on his head was caused by meningitis. We were very afraid. To our immense relief the problem turned out to be a very bad boil gone bad.  Korduni is back at Olbalbal now and doing fine.

Korduni recovered and happy.

Malambo or Bust

After four years spent with me here at Olbalbal Fr. Arkado left to open a new mission at Malambo some four hours drive to the North. It took a number of days to get there because of heavy rains and washed out roads. Finally, yesterday, he and Fr. Julieto arrived in time to have Sunday mass with the people.

Arkado and Julieto had to turn back from this swollen river near Oldoinyo Lengai.
Frs. Arkado and Julieto

Fr. Arkado writes:

After five days on the road. Finally today the Good Shepherd Sunday Fr. Julieto and I arrived at Malambo. Before the final blessing at Mass we asked two children, two youths, and two adults to put their hands on our heads and bless us while we knelt in front of the people.

A Maasai Christian lady blesses Arkado.

I was inspired by Pope Francis… . As Pope Francis said priests should take on the “smell of sheep”… . When he was elected, the pope asked the people to bless him… . We are sent to them to be a family and we need the blessing of the people who welcome us… .

Yohana Breaks His Arm

We had the installation of our new bishop last Sunday. I did not attend because I received a phone call that one of my students, a senior in high school, broke his arm while playing football. I went to the school about a half hour from Arusha and picked him up early Sunday morning. I was at the hospital with him till the evening. It was a very bad break in two places and he has been in the hospital all week with surgery on Tuesday. Fr. Joe Herzstein and I drove back to Ngorongoro on Monday and I sent Lenkangu, a teacher, into Arusha to be with Yohana, the injured boy. He is returning to Olbalbal today by bus with Yohana. I guess the only good thing to come out of the Arusha trip was that I missed the installation ceremonies. It lasted eight hours with the of liturgy and speeches. President Magufuli gave the new bishop a gift of two cows.

Expired Med Tragedy

Last week a cow became sick at a Maasai village in our area. The owner of the animal went to the shops to look for medicine. The only thing available was a small vial of medicine for injection and he bought it, took the vial home and injected his cow that straightaway died. As is normal in such circumstances, they slaughtered the cow and ate the meat distributing portions to friends and neighbors. Eight five men women and children promptly became deathly sick and were take to our local hospital in Endulen. Most remain there in critical condition. It turns out that they injected the cow with medicine that had expired ten years ago. I don’t know what the medicine was but it turned out to be poison for the cow and for the people that ate the meat.

Spiritans mark 150 years in Tanzania

We Spiritans arrived Bagamoyo on the coast 150 years ago, bringing the good news of Jesus to mainland Tanzania. Consequently, this year the Catholic Church of Tanzania is celebrating 150 years of Christianity. To mark this special year a cross is being carried around to all the parishes and Christian communities. We had the cross here at Olbalbal for a week trekking around to all our Christian groups. Yesterday we took the cross to the parish center at Ngorongoro on the lip of the crater and handed it over to the people of Nainokanoka

Loading the cross unto the car for the trip to Nainokanoka.
The Nainokanoka people exiting Ngorongoro church, having been given the Jubilee Cross by Olbalbal.


My 56-Year African Mission