I was honoured when Toriana’s grandmother, Deborah came excitedly to tell me of her baby’s birth and that they were going to name her after me. I was invited to the naming ceremony which is four days after her birth. It was at Deborah’s home and only women attended.
The older women in the community led by anointing, actually baptising the mother and baby in oil. They then put the mother on all fours with the baby on her back while older woman then chewed sorghum kernels and spat them over the mother and child chanting a blessing. I decided to come and visit them another day and prayed God’s blessing, protection and salvation over her little life!
It has been my mission to get to know each household in Sohut. So I do my daily visits of 3-4 homes after completing 2 hours of reading curriculum books and 3 hours of language learning. This has been very fruitful. I now have a growing map of Sohut and its people’s names that I pencil into my map after each visit.
One night after a while of studying a huge spider bigger than my hand crawled up part of my leg. Of course I screamed and Jen my house mate came to my rescue but then decided not to and ran out my room. So I ran outside and called frantically to one of our neighbours – ‘Elizabeth, Elizabeth!!!’ She thought I was in big trouble so she scaled her cliff and jump over the baboo fence to my rescue. I pointed to my room and when she ran inside and saw the spider she packed out laughing…she simply picked the huge spider up crumpled it in her hand like a piece of paper and took it outside. Jen and I stood with our jaws to the floor. When we escorted the dead spider outside, the whole of the Sohut village had come to see what had happened to me. Well when Elizabeth told the whole story they were all in fits of laughter. Some of our Sohut friends offered to sleep outside in case another spider came!
Excerpts from Cath Bezold’s (née Fitzpatrick) newsletter when she was a member of the TIMO team among the Lopit in Sohut. She will be leading a Diguna/AIM team in the neighbouring village of Ohilang in 2013.