Friday, October 8, 2010

A women's revolt

We made it back to Karero with the paint earlier this week (slightly different color again, but what can you do!). We returned to Karero to find a bit of an uproar among the women.  They finally united and took a stand against the men of the community.  As in many places of the world, alcoholism is a problem among the Maasai community in Karero.  The men purchase various types of alcohol from the local shops, including a somewhat lethal homemade mixture. They have been squandering their money on alcohol rather than spending it on food for the family.   So, the women all decided to walk out of their bomas together to leave the men to care for the children and animals.  They gathered at the local shops that sells the alcohol, surrounding them and forcing them to close.  They threatened to throw away all the alcohol. They came together in the night singing, praying, and yelling; calling women out of their bomas to join their struggle.  They spent the night together and sang into the morning.  We woke around 5am to songs in the distance.  What an amazing experience to witness!  I am so proud of these women. They were ultimately victorious, forcing at least one of the shops to pour out all its alcohol and promise not to sell in the future.  The women celebrated by slaughtering a goat for themselves. They found a common voice and made a positive change in the community.  Unfortunately, we returned to the shop a few days later and they were still selling alcohol. We hope the women will continue to stand against such ridiculous behavior and, hopefully, things will change little by little.

We completed the painting at the clinic. It looks so much brighter.  We left Karero yesterday.  We will return in a few weeks to check on things and do a few more repairs.  We spent last night at Tizi camp (the place we normally stay near Mali Tisa after we leave Karero before heading back to Kimana). I had a couple of adventures with some large cockroaches last night and this morning.  Unfortunately, Mike had to both fall asleep and wake to my screaming.  Last night, I lost my battle trying to catch a cockroach.  It fell down beside my feet and sent me running around the room a bit.  Then, I woke this morning to observe a large cockroach inside my mosquito net crawling right above my feet.  I screamed and jumped to Mike's bed.  Mike continues to remind me of these events and it is only 9am!  What can I say, it is not that I am afraid of the critters, but cockroaches are just gross little creatures.  I don't like them crawling on or near me.  I suppose it is better than snakes or hyenas...not sure, the jury is still out.

Last, but not least, it is important to mention that Mike spotted a local man wearing a Seahawks hat yesterday in Namanga.  Seattle sports are being well represented in Africa.  Let's hope for a better Seahawks performance this weekend.  Go Huskies!

1 comment:

  1. The principal of the school at which I taught in Sierra Leone was an Irish priest with the surprising name of Austin Healy. He went home to Ireland on leave one Christmas, and brought gifts from Africa. As the family was opening his gifts, out flew one of the giant (3-4 inches long) cockroaches endemic to Sierra Leone. The pandemonium that followed was apparently legendary.