Some Watatulu elders
were sitting with me in front of my tent near Ndoleleji, Tanzania. We were
discussing the Watatulu notion of who God is since they use the same word for
God as they use for the sun. Some boys, shepherds, were playing nearby.
Suddenly a woman, Sabena, came running from her mud hut screaming wildly. She
grabbed one of the boys and threw that kid through the air at least ten feet.
She began jumping up and down, thrashing her arms like a mad person. The boy
was her brother. Their sheep had wandered into the neighbor’s sorghum field and
she was angry. I asked the men, "Should I talk to her?" One man, circling his
finger by his head, said, "Don’t bother, Father, she’s crazy!" "I’ll go!" I
said. I walked up to her, put my hand on her shoulder, and said, "Look,
Sabena! If you stop this I will bring you medicine so you won’t fall again."
Just like that she stopped. Calmly, I walked her back to her house.
Sabena is an epileptic.
That was the
beginning. Today we are treating 18 Watatulu epileptics. All have responded
favorably to the treatment which is a spiritual blessing and phenobarbital
pills. This is how projects begin with benefactors’ financial support.