Unstable times

Now it has been some days that I have not written anything. Since we are in the winter and the rain and thunder is constantly roaring, a lightening fried my Internet connection and computer and that has slowed everything down for me. I am trying to reinstall things but things take time here, and you have to be patient. So now I am back to visiting a local café where there is a good connection.

Since it is raining so much my house is constantly visited by animals that are looking for warm and dry places to hide. I have had several scorpions visiting lately. So I have to wear shoes always when I walk inside the house at night. The scorpions are not very poisonous, but it hurts when they sting. SoBirds in the mangrove forest now we are waiting for the summer and dry season to come. At the end of November we have hopes for dry weather.

I wanted to tell you about superstition in this country. It is still a strong element in society. Witchcraft is something that still is practiced and people believe firmly in this. If you have an enemy someone might throw a spell at you and you may be sick.  My maid told me that her mother fell sick because someone threw her a spell. She is convinced that it is the logical explanation to her illness. She did not die, but was hospitalized for quite some time. All this is mixed with a fear for the punishment of god if you misbehave. I will give you an example.  There is a rule here that women should shower in the morning and not in the afternoon. Why? Well, when you shower you smell of perfume and that might be provoking wrong signals to the male part of the population. In the morning everyone go to work and nothing is suspicious. In the afternoon however, you might be calling for attention, and that is not good. Relationships between men and women are strictly ruled by unwritten laws in the society.

Well back to superstition. Last night something strange happened to me. But before I go into details about what happened, I must say that alcohol abuse is a problem to some people. On the other hand there is a strong wave of evangelists in the village and it is like these two extremes try to survive side by side. And strangely enough they manage very well. People tend to accept each other for the flaws and mistakes they make, evangelist or not. So when something happens like what happened yesterday they stay by each other no matter what.

I had gone to bed early, like you often do here. There is nothing much going on after nine o´clock in the evening. And then suddenly I woke up by the telephone ringing. Since I was asleep, I had no idea of what time it was, and phone calls at night startle me a lot. But I answered and on the other end of the line was a friend of mine, who was desperate telling me that his mother was dying, if I could take her to the hospital. Having no idea what time it was I was a bit reluctant, but I soon saw that I had been sleeping for just one hour. So I said yes of course, got up and dressed, took my car out and was about to put the woman in my car when I realized that she was very drunk. And looking a bit closer not even that drunk either. But she was rather aggressive, because she said that the devil was coming to take her. She had not been eating a lot and been drinking heavily a bad liquor that is very cheap. You can perhaps guess the quality of the drink.  Anyway, she refused to get into the car, and we took her to my house for some strong coffee, and during this short time a lot of women with their bible in hand had gathered around her. They started to chant and read from the holy book, and pray for her health. After a couple of cups of coffee she seemed to recover a bit, and then she started to wonder why she had gotten so drunk. It must be the devil that was punishing her because she had not brought a present for a wedding she had attended the day before, she said. My friend was afraid for his mother, but angry with her also for getting so drunk.  What amazed me was how strongly she believed that the devil had been coming to get her, and that she was being punished for misbehaving. She did not even start to think that the bad conscience she had might be what she thought was the devil.

This morning she came by the house to excuse herself but she was all right.   She had expected me to judge her, but I said that she was the one with a problem not me, and she was happy for my understanding.

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