So, to add to the list of "unlikely friends" we have, which currently include Leaders, talibe boys, and old, prominant muslim men, we have befriended a witch doctor. Her name is Jara, and we met her on the road, as we walked past her house often, and we always greeted her. She was always asking for us to come by for attaya*, and so, this last week, we obliged her. Upon arriving, she did not heasitate to tell us of how she heals people with charms and spells, and proceeded to tell our futures with a specific kind of shells she had. But, in case we still had any doubt in our minds, she clearly stated that, while we were western doctors, she was a "senegalese doctor". And so, we drank attaya, talked, recieved gifts, and even got to speak for her stomach which she is having medical issues with! Please be speaking for her as we continue our relationship with her, as the spiritual realm is very real here, and the term "witch doctor" is not loosely thrown around. Also, be speaking for our friends staying in a nearby village as several of them have experienced spiritual problems with people in their families or households.
We have been getting very close to the mom of our family. The other day, she told us of how dissatisfied she is with her life and how she feels that she has no purpose, no hope in life. Though it was heartbreaking to hear, it was a good sign and open door to the One who can bring hope and purpose to life. She took us, last night, to Colobane, a suburb of Dakar, where she is from to meet her family. It was so much fun to see her huge family and meet so many of her friends. She seemed so happy there and her personality really shone through. The trip was only about 5 short hours, but it was great, even if we did break down on the side of the road on the way home and have to walk the rest of the way. We feel so close to her now, I can tell her anything (granted I know the words in wolof or can sharade them) and we are really speaking for the conversation to open up again to share with her more about the Hope that we have. This is me and her below.
We have been continuing our work with "D" and his arabic school, and have been asked now to go to a friend of his's house to take care of his foot. He has diabetes and has bad ulcers on his feet. Be praying for him. Also, we were stopped on the way home from the arabic school the other day to take care of a little boy who has very bad scabies**. We speak for him in wolof, so be speaking for his healing and that it would be obvious that it comes from Him.
Today, I helped deliver a baby, much to the dismay of my roommates who have been dying to see one. It was a boy, however, it seems apparent that he has a birth defect, so be speaking for his family.
Our relationship with the talibe house that we work with has become strained so be speaking for that relationship as well. Though many of these things have been encouraging, fun, and exciting to share with others, it is also heartbreaking at the same time. The darkness that surrounds the people I love seems to become more and more apparent every day I'm here. As my love for them grows, so does the burden on my heart for these people so lost in hopelessness, fear, and superstition. Please speak for those held captive by the dark culture surrounding them.
Other than that, all is going well, still working at the clinic, playing with the kids, hanging out with our family, and fadjing*** kids all over the place. My roommate, Mariama M is leaving this Saturday night for a school thing, so be speaking for her safe travel. Thank you all for your support and speaking!! I will see you in 3 short weeks!
So, we gave the kids in our house star sunglasses and paddle balls, which soon became weapons, but started out super cute.
Some of the kids in my house.
*attaya is a friendship tea. It is very hot and served in three rounds in a shot glass. The tea symbolizes friendship as it starts off very bitter and gets super sweet by the end, just as friendship gets sweeter with time. (I am not a huge fan, in case you were wondering)
**scabies is a skin disease caused by small bugs that live under your skin. It comes from sleeping in the dirt and not bathing often. Small kids scratch at them, causing tons of painful sores all over their bodies.
***fadjing- from the wolof word "fadj" which means to heal, we just add the American "ing" onto the end when we talk about it with eachother. Its what people say we do, meaning that we give meds and bandage wounds basically.