Friday, January 09, 2009

Traditional healing

So, we get into the Kalanga Bible translation office this morning, set about getting email. One of the translators thanks me for the brazil nuts and red wine I gave him last November, says he's been feeling much better since he started taking it. Warms the heart, to have my remedies work.

That's sort of been a niche I've fallen into naturally (pardon the pun) since I've been here; a dispenser of harmless food remedies that actually work. I treated a bunch of gals with stomach ailments with peppermint oil at the ELCB music workshop in Maun, with success. And I gave one of my fellow music camp mates some licorice for her persistent cough, also with success, within minutes. She then reminded me that I had treated her last year at music camp as well, for a stomach ailment (peppermint oil and white bread), also with success. She then said, “You know, you're the best traditional healer I know in Botswana.” Made my day. Made Rob laugh.

I love offering simple food treatments for simple physical problems and having people accept them without looking at me like I'm cracked in the head. It's not uncommon here to boil up a root or eat something to solve minor illnesses so I'm culturally “in” that way.

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