The Maasai Blessing
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Just wanted to share a piece of culture that I personally experienced today. The Maasai have an interesting way of showing gratitude. I was evaluating a woman that didn't even know her age. The guess is that she is at least 100 years old. I tried not to laugh when she complained that she can't see like she used to. That she has some joint pains. I said, "You have been walking the earth so many years that your body is just tired."
She was very happy and in the end wanted me to pray for her. I asked her if she would pray for me too. She did, and at the end of that time, she proceeded to kiss my hand with her spit. That happened 3 times. Then she pulled me down and spit on my neck.
I knew that it would have insulted her for me to go immediately and wash my hand, so I just sat and laughed with her. I knew that Vino was also not initiated in the culture, so she also, "blessed" Vino.
Not long after I had to get Bill to help me get my glasses clean, because there was a good amount of spit blurring my vision.
There were so many that we helped today and others that really need some special care. This lady was suffering from the effects of undiagnosed diabetes. She had a huge open wound. The good news is that we happened to have a nurse from a burn unit in the USA with us to do the treatment to help try and save her leg.
This photo is what it looks like when dust rains down driving to and from the outreach today.
I think the hardest part about the medical outreach is finding serious issues that are not treatable in this country. I personally found a woman with cardiac regurgitation and another with cardio megally. It is a fact of life that there is not any sort of specialized cardiac surgery or care. The only thing we are able to do is to counsel them on how to make sure they care for themselves in order to live the longest.