morning, a young man of the mostly non-Christian, semi-nomadic Watatulu Ethnic
Group I serve in Shinyanga, Tanzania, called, "Padri Daniel, come here." He
pointed to a 10 shilling (the value of one cent) coin on the sand. I replied,
"The little girl who brings us milk probably dropped it. Pick it up. We’ll
give it back." He replied hastily, "No, Padri, look there!" We found nine
coins carefully placed in a semicircle around my tent. Again I said, "She
probably dropped them. Pick them up and we’ll return them." The young man
argued, "Nobody dropped them, Padri. Someone is trying to put a curse on you.
The witchdoctor told someone to put them there." The young man would not touch
the coins. I picked them up, saying, "Look! If you find out who it was, tell
them to use 100 shilling (the value of 10 cents) coins next time." He didn’t
think it was funny. The Watatulu are considered among the fiercest groups in
Tanzania, yet they are deathly afraid of the spirit world.