Up bright an early today for another big day on the shamba! Max and Elly have been learning to brush their teeth and are quite enthusiastic about it. They like to flash me a big smile when they are done to show me what a good job they did.
After breakfast and teeth brushing, it was time for Max and Kakasii to check on our cows and bulls as they grazed in our front yard.
You can’t really tell from this photo, but the bull on the far left is a real bad-ass. He is very aggressive and should have been turned into hamburger months ago (in my opinion). Kakasii’s opinion is to wait a little bit longer and sell it closer to Christmas when the price will be higher. Many Chagga (the people from Mt. Kilimanjaro) who have moved away from the village come back to Kilimanjaro for Christmas and have big parties and family gatherings. The cost of meat rises with that demand.
A bit later in the morning, while the cows were still grazing in the front yard, an old woman approached our yard. There’s a footpath just to the side that leads around our property and connects to another road. That’s where she was headed but Kakasii was concerned that she might get a little too close to the bull and it would charge her so he went to move it farther away from the footpath.
And that’s when it happened.
The bull didn’t charge the old woman, but it did charge Kakasii! It pushed him back behind the hedge of bougainvillea and down onto the ground among the coffee trees and banana plants. The kids and I had been sitting on the front porch with Kakasii before he went to move the bull, so we witnessed the attack. Anita was there, too, so I handed Max to her and ran…to do what, I don’t know. Did I think I was going to be able to save Kakasii from the bull? I didn’t have time to think about anything, I just ran in the direction of where Kakasii and the bull were. Fortunately, Kakasii had the presence of mind to shout to me to stay away. Had I gotten any closer the bull likely would have then charged me. So I stopped dead in my tracks and waited until Kakasii appeared from behind the bougainvillea, brushing the dirt off, seemingly uninjured (later he discovered some scratches and bruising on his side and rear end where the bull got him–fortunately, the bull’s horns are bent inward so he wasn’t able to gore him).
Even after all of that, Kakasii still thinks we should wait until closer to Christmas to sell that darn bull.
After we all recovered from the emotional trama of the bull attack, it was time for more visiting. First we visited Kakasii’s mom’s younger sister. We showed up totally unannounced and, true to Tanzanian culture, she stopped what she was doing to receive us. She wanted to send someone to the nearby duka (shop) to buy sodas for us but we were only able to stay a few minutes so we declined.
[Side story: The man in the photo is Frank, Kakasii’s half-brother. Kakasii’s father, Joseph, was of the generation of Tanzanian men that had multiple wives. Kakasii’s father had five. Three of his own (Kakasii’s mom was the first wife) and then later two more who had been wives of Kakasii’s grandfather, Wariskao, that were still of child-bearing age when Wariskao died.]
Then it was on to visit Kakasii’s shangazi (fraternal aunt). Before reaching her house we stopped at a duka to buy her some sugar–it’s also a common custom to take zawadi (a gift) when visiting respected family members, usually something like sugar or tea. As at our first visit, Shangazi also wanted to treat us to a soda. We declined, but since it was Max and Elly’s snack time, we peeled a few oranges and sweet fingerling bananas so they could eat and share with the other children there.