Monday, June 01, 2009

The Elbow High Five

I've had a number of new posts lately - scroll down or click here to see Drought, A River in the Desert, Operation Library, and Desert Alive.
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I’d been hearing rumours from the kids for a few weeks, but I wasn’t sure if they were true or not. Last week it was confirmed – there is officially a cholera outbreak in our district. It’s hard to know if it’s hit Korr or not, because there’s no way of knowing what happens with everybody out in the goobs (villages), but there have been confirmed cases in Loglogo and Laisamis, towns just south of us along the road, and there have been confirmed deaths because of it. Cholera, in it’s worst form, is one of the most rapidly-striking fatal illnesses known, and is nothing to mess with. People are definitely scared.

For this reason, Lynne got up in church last Sunday and made an announcement, telling people about what cholera is, how to treat it, how to wash their hands after “helping themselves” (don’t have water? Wash with sand!) and told people to avoid shaking hands if at all possible and just do a hands-free greeting.

I decided that this message needed to be repeated at the school, so at Monday’s assembly, I took a good chunk to talk about cholera (gah! What do I know?) and the same three points that Lynne explained to the church, and told them to spread the word to everyone they know. We definitely don’t want cholera adding to the problems the Rendille are experiencing right now with the drought and all of the related problems.

As for greetings, I didn’t think the kids would be so into the “kiss-kiss” on the side of the face kind of greeting, so I decided to make up a kind of a fun, hands-free greeting that they could use – the elbow high-five! I had them all practice, and it’s become a hit at the school!

Turns out it’s not just been a hit at the school. The kids took me seriously when I told them to tell everyone about it, and by Friday, a man came in from one of the faaaar goobs saying, “I hear we’re supposed to greet like this now!” and demonstrated the now famous elbow-high-five! Awesome! I started a trend! :)

6 comments:

sarah cool said...

Hahahah!!! in 50 years, we will read in history text books, "The Rendille do a specialized greeting that resembles an elbow high five! We are unaware of the origins of this cultural phenomenon."

Hahahahaha!!!

nachtwache said...

It's good to laugh too! Lol! I pray that there will be no outbreak of cholera among 'your' people.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I'd love to see a photo of that elbow high-five!

Karen said...

You've started a craze!!! How cool is that?

Jean said...

That's awesome!! You're amazing Hillary and this will be something these people will remember for years to come!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

There's that photo! Gracias!