Solar Heist…There are some young people here in Olbalbal village that seem determined to embarrass the local police force. Our local “precinct” is composed of only a couple of officers, one of whom, exploiting an old foot treadle powered sewing machine, has become the village tailor. One night a couple of weeks ago, the poorly secured solar panel was stolen from the roof of our police station. In the morning, the constable began to investigate the theft and was rewarded by “dumb” expressions on the faces of all those that he questioned. To the surprise of everyone, The next night it was stealthily returned to the same roof. The officer in question, although happy at the return of his light providing solar panel, was very embarrassed by the whole incident.
Soccer Black out…A teacher here in Olbalbal has satellite TV specifically for showing the European FAFA games. He had a house full of paying customers some weeks ago for the final game between a Spanish and Italian team. Many Maasai young people love the soccer they learned to play at school and take advantage of every chance to listen to games on the radio or pay the teacher to watch them on his TV setup. The house was packed and the game began. Then twenty minutes into the game, the screen went blank. The monthly subscription of the teacher to cable TV from South Africa had run out. There were howls of disappointment from the assembled fans but there was nothing to be done. Their entrance fees, the equivalent of about seventy-five American cents, were returned and everyone sadly went home.
Dog Bite…A couple of months ago, Noonkuta was walking home from the shops with a bag of corn flour on her back. As she passed one of the houses in the village, a dog ran out and bit her in the leg. She fell to the ground and lay there holding her injured and painful leg. Some women friends found her there and support her as she limped to the clinic. The staff at the hospital dressed the wound and questioned her about the dog. She told them that the dog is owned by the “diwani,” one of the leaders of Olbalbal village, a Maasai man. The doctor wrote a letter to the “diwani” with the bill of the women’s treatment. Strangely enough, the village official has absolutely refused to pay the bill, saying that it must have somehow been the women’s fault. This kind of thing happens so often. The poor here have no redress against the rich and powerful.