Posts Tagged ‘monkeys’


Shawnda: Traditional Healer, Evil Monkeys, and Michelle Obama

June 25, 2011

Today we went to see a traditional healer.  There was not much to the visit.  His room was quite small with walls lined with shelves full of jars with different herbs and mixes.  The man, whose mother was from Zimbabwe and father from Malawi, was a healer from birth.  He talked about how when he was younger, his ancestors would visit him in his dreams to teach him about healing.  He could sense sickness in people.

From a young age he became well known throughout the communities, and began to build a career out of traditional healing. He moved to Botswana and has remained there since.  Although I was not easily convinced of his abilities, I was surprised to hear that he does collaborate with modern doctors.  I think that compared to what I have heard about most healers, he is much more humble; all while remaining confident in his abilities.  I would have liked to see more examples of what he does on a daily basis, but that would take more observing than questioning.  

Following the visit, we all went to the game reserve for a braai.  As soon as we entered we saw ostriches, warthogs, and monkeys…too many monkeys.  At first we were all enamored by their cuteness and would have given anything for them to jump up on our shoulders for a picture.  This glee wore off quickly.  As soon as food was in sight, the monkeys quickly loss their fear of us.  They surrounded us in the trees, snuck up on us plenty of times, and managed to spill a Savanna Light and Heinekin and then steal several chips, pasta, a veggie burger, and whatever scraps were left.  I think they even pooped on someone.  I guess not many people could say they had the pleasure of being accosted or pooped on by a monkey, so I’ll appreciate it for what it is.

The end of the day was spent in Game City, buying some gifts and drinking coffee.  The trip back, however, was the longest yet.  As most people know, Michelle Obama is currently in the country and was on a safari tonight which was very close to where we were.  On our taxi ride back we made it out of the parking lot and were stopped for what seemed to be hours.  The police had shut down the main road for her departure from the safari, and we sat there between angry drivers for nearly an hour.  For what? To see about 30 cars speed by, unsure of which had our first lady in it.

This will be my last post for a week unfortunately.  I will be staying in Mochudi, a nearby village, for one week without my computer.  We will be in home stays, which I am incredibly excited for, and will be working in clinics for the whole week. Hopefully this will give me more insight into their culture and public health system.  I’m sure I will have novels to write after this, so expect a large amount of blogging soon.
But, now that I think about it, it may have to wait two Wednesdays from now.  Because as soon as we are back from Mochudi, we have class, then leave for a two night camping trip and the Rhino Reserve I believe.
Packed schedule. Can’t wait!

Haley: 1 fish, 2 fish, red fish… MONKEY

September 3, 2010

August 31st
I successfully only got 3 hours of sleep. Caaaaan you say Jet Lagged? On top of it in the middle of the night I heard what sounded like someone being locked outside there door… After listening for 30 minutes with the poor person struggling, I decide to check it out (we had to lock our doors so the Monkeys won’t get in). I go out into the courtyard and don’t see anyone… ? I hear the door shake again and faint voices on the other side. So I go over to discover that two of my class mates locked themselved in their room and couldn’t get out… HAHAHA!!!

When everyone woke before heading to Lake Nakuru, we went to go wash up and brush our teeth out by a water basin. As I’m washing my face I hear the trees rustle and the pitter patter of feet. The monkeys came out to see what we have… and of course dig through the garbage. Pretty much the squirrels of Africa.
We had to stop at the immigration office in Nairobi before leaving, which ended up with Haley sitting on the sidewalk playing cards, explaining “bull-shit” to the MSID staff. We go to lunch at an “American” food restraunt…

Our drive out to Nakuru was so exciting… an unfamiliar country! We stopped at the point that overlooked this valley, and it’s crazy how beauty and poverty can be captured in the same scene. It is at this point that I realize that the food isn’t settling with me well, I feel sick. Or perhaps I’m just tired. We walked through a market where we could haggle prices (LOVE). We finally get to the campground and in the distance on the lake it looks as if the shore is made of pink rocks or sand… No, it’s the flamingo’s along the shore. We didn’t have hot water at the camp ground, sometimes had toilet paper, no toilet seats, no internet, and no phones… HELL YA! No really… we had SO much fun.

September 1st

Well I woke up in the middle of the night and then at 6 in the morning, but I’m doing better. It’s fricken freezing because their winter is ending. My Malaria pills cause me to dream a lot. We get 3 meals a day and tea time in between every meal. We LOVE tea time. I have never eaten this good in my entire life. Everything so healthy and structured. Fresh fruit…. mmmm.

For orientation we spent a couple hours doing group excercises, like having two people tie a shoe with each using only one hand. This is to symbolize how the every day tasks we’re used to  are now going to be done differently, and that as simple as they were before, we may now find them a challenge in Kenya. Also the help of another person goes a long way. The other team building stuff was guiding someone around blindfolded without speaking english or touching… so using codes. This signifying the unfimiliarity and struggles that come with a foriegn country. (It was fun till I nearly Judo chopped the professor for sneaking up on me while I was blind-folded.)

SAFARI TIME!… I wish words could do justice to the beauty I saw. I’ve never seen such greens in my life. What was the meaning of “love and care” before I saw a family of Baboons take care of each other. Babies holding on to their moms as the roam the land. There’s nothing more majestic than a pack of Giraffes walking towards you. Rhino’s are incredible…. SO strong and beautiful. We got off the bus by the flamingos and walked around a bit. Leave it to me to walk in Rhino poo… Trust me, burning dog poop on the front porch does this no justice. On the ride back we saw 4 lions just sitting there, 3 in the tree and one not even 10 yards away…. As I go to get pictures, OOPS my camera dies @#$@&%!!!!!!!!!! Then when we went to leave they decided to lay in the road leaving us stuck. So to pass time, why not sing a little Lion King?

September 2nd
Today I think it was the insructor’s life ambition to scare the crap out of us. They told us about stories of the Matatu (type of transportation) where kids got robbed, and pick-pocketed. How walking at night is dangerous and that we’de never know if someone slashed our bags… Alright Great Pep talk! This was also when we got told individually about our internships. I-AM-SO-FRICKEN-EXCITED!!!!! In 6 or 7 weeks I go to Mombasa (South East Coast) for my internship for another 6 or 7 weeks. I am working in this hospital there. Each week I get to go to a different department of the hospital and work there. Then I get to work at the free clinic that I have to take a ferry to on this little island…. where in the USA do I get to do THIS?!

During the safari today, we stopped at an amazing waterfall. We saw all the animals again this time PLUS a leopard! I can really get used to this. When we got back we discovered that there was a Riot in Nakuru (maybe 10 minutes away from where we were) where 2 people died and several were injured. I can see the lights of that town from my cabin window. And THEN on top of it, a wild cat (not like a lion… just a wild cat) SOMEHOW got into a hospital and ate a baby. Arrrrreeeee you Serious?!?! I don’t know about you but this sounds a little sketchy to me… especially since the baby was reported to have been in an icubator… Ohhh Africa. Going to bed I felt the results of being so close to the equator… Hellooooooo Sun Burn!

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