Monday, March 22, 2010

Pierced Ears

Parents have all sorts of reasons for piercing or not piercing their daughter's ears when they are born, but I'll bet you've never had a reason like my friend Alice.

I went to her house again today (Sunday, March 21) because I had been gone a few days to Murchison Falls, and I wanted to check in with her and see if she needed anything. She did, in fact, need a couple of things, and I was glad to take them to her. She lives about a 15-minute walk from here up the hill behind my house, so the girls and I went after Doug got back from his 5 and a half hour bike ride this morning. As a side note, Doug is going to be ready to ride with Lance Armstrong after all this "training."

As a side note, he and three guys went out to far-away villages to talk to people who weren't in church today. They had great success finding people who were very interested in what they had to share (testimonies and Bible stories), and they plan on returning next week. One boy who saw Doug was afraid. Through an interpreter, Doug discovered that the boys there (and maybe in all villages?) had been told that white people eat children (as an old wives' tale passed down), and Doug was the first white person he had seen up-close.

Back to the ear piercing…

Alice had pierced Sarah's ears the day before with a needle and run a thread through the hole. There was now a small loop of thread tied in each ear.

My girls were curious and were asking "why the string?" After they ran off to play, Alice told me that babies are stolen here in Arua for sacrifices, but "they" won't take a baby that has its ears pierced because "blood has already been drawn from it, and it no longer has fresh blood."

So basically, her reasons for piercing Sarah's ears had to do with life and death. Interesting, huh?

Speaking of life and death…

On my way to town this afternoon, after visiting Alice, I stopped and talked with our LC (I don't know what that stands for, but she is an elected official for the area I live in). We chatted and talked about the day and the upcoming storm (which I did NOT beat, by the way, on my trip to get groceries).

As I was leaving, she said, "Oh, by the way, I am going to be coming door-to-door again asking for a 5000 shilling donation ($2.50) for a night patrol I have hired. I guess you have been hearing the gun shots?"

"Huh, no."

"Oh, yes, there have been gun shots and much thievery. We have buried 6 or 7 people in the last month."

"Oh?" I'm sure my face was not hiding my thoughts at this point.

"Anyway, I am paying a patrol to walk our streets, and I am asking for contributions."

"Here you go. I've got 5000 shillings right here. Thank you so much. (Awadifo!)"


Stefanie Kellum said...

The idea of white people eating children just CRACKED ME UP!!! I guess Doug is pretty intimidating...haha jk! And that's crazy about the pierced ears. The Lugbara really sacrifice babies?! Wow. I just gained a whole new perspective on this people group you're called to reach out too.

Kelly said...

Wow, that's really sobering. Who would have ever thought pierced ears would be a matter of life & death? (And I might have given the LC 10,000 shillings!!! 15? 20, anyone???)