The second village on our trek was that of the “Wine Makers.”
(I wrote a long email about this village in July) About four months ago
Dr. Suresh emailed that there was considerable trouble in that village due to the fact that Vasenta’s sister, Vijaywanti, had married Somsingh. While she was out herding goats for Vasenta she became acquainted with Somsingh. Because of this union the couple went against custom and therefore have been ostracized from the village. Dr. Suresh felt that their need was immense, so carefully orchestrated circumstances so as not to go against any tribal customs or mores yet give some needed help. Three goats were given, yet again from the special Christmas gift.
Walking on the path through the village I saw a darling baby girl and of course, I had to hold her. As my hand touched “bare bottom” I was most thankful for the sanitary wipes residing in my purse. Later I learned that no “outsider” had ever touched a baby in the village.
|The chief of the village came forward with an enthusiastic greeting and after the customary dance, as we call it; we asked permission to visit the young couple. They live about two hundred yards outside the village. The mother was walking beside me so I put my arm around her, and then was told that since this marriage had taken place she had not seen or touched her daughter. In fact, their shadow cannot even fall on anyone from the village UNTIL they make restitution bring honor back to the village. To further the humiliation, the path to the meager hut was the toilet lane for the village. I don’t know how they subsist in the pathetic hut as a home. While looking around I observed almost no pots and pans, no blankets, no clothing, literally, they have nothing.
Restoration is almost like an Old Testament blood sacrifice. The couple will have to buy a male buffalo and a male goat. They cannot even touch the animals nor can the animals be a gift. The tribal leaders have to see the couple give the money for the animals. Then the animals will be sacrificed and the blood poured on the idols. Then all seven villages come together for a huge feast. The amount of money needed to do this is so far out of the realm of possibility for this couple that there was complete despair and hopelessness.
As we are standing at the edge of this stick hut Loren wanted to make sure that we were not causing any problems by giving goats to the young couple and taking pictures.
The chief said “Nay, nay! Because of what Dr. Suresh has done in showing kindness, I will try to make it easier for this couple to gain acceptance back into the village. We too, must learn to forgive. The punishment is too severe for the actions.” OH man, did that bring tears to our eyes.
I became very concerned as to how they were getting food. Do they have to steal????? It was explained that the young man daily goes into the jungle for wood, which he is able to sell to a FEW members of the village. The stain of sin is not as great on the boy as the girl. Does that sound familiar?
Dr. Suresh is trying to obtain funds for equipment to be able to show the Hindi version of “End of the Spear” to this village. What an opportunity to show this village how other tribes of the world have been shown forgiveness.