Maize in front of the doctor’s house.

The small plots of maize by almost every house seem left to their own devices. Some plots are thriving, some are full of pitiful stalks with shrunken ears which can’t possibly feed anyone. I have missed the planting so I do not know if fertilizer was applied. I am sure commercial fertilizer is imported. I have heard of people bringing manure to their fields, but have not seen it. And what did we learn that the pilgrims and native Americans did—a fish head for every hillock of corn and beans? We are close to the lake so perhaps it is done here.

So far it has rained at least a little bit every three to four days. The only places I have seen irrigation are in the properties owned by “Mzungus,” the Swahili word for Europeans. I do not know the Luo word, because even here where Swahili is not the favored language, Mzungu is used to describe me. Since even the staff use the word occasionally when talking with patients–I hear it jumping out of the blur of Luo–I assume it is not the “bad” word it sounds like to me.

3 thoughts on “Mzungu

  1. Ah Steph I have so enjoyed reading these and wonder why I haven’t seen them before~ no matter! An utter delight to peek into your life and get a glimpse of your process-I MISS YOU MUCH~ what an experience and the gift of you they get to share~~ with so much love~ Noreen (The pictures are precious as well as your words, descriptions and feelings~ thank you


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