Saturday, November 21, 2009


Today we went to the "curandeiro," the witchdoctor. I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but I think the reality was a bit different. It was a round stone and mud hut with a thatched roof, about 12' in diameter. We took off our shoes to enter and sat on mats on the floor. Inside there were some of the things you might imagine a witchdoctor to have: some animal skins, a snake skin, some different stones and shells, some sticks, something with what looked like human hair attached to it, and of course all the traditional medicines. But all of the traditional medicines weren't kept in the gourds or animal skins I had imagined a witchdoctor would have. They were kept in old glass mayonnaise jars, ketchup bottles, liquor bottles, and soda bottles. And on the wall behind the curandeiro's head hung a certificate from the national ministry of health. To demonstrate the kind of head covering if was describing, if showed us a poster that had a picture of himself. It has been raining for six days straight now, I think. Our village has become one large red mud puddle. But I have no frame of reference: has it just been rainy or has the rainy season begun? I guess I will know for sure if it's still raining in three months.

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