My Village Is Called Texas


It was the best I could do to explain where my people lived. I drew a crude map of Africa and then North America but soon realized they had never seen a globe. They had heard of a village called “Germany” but I had to introduce them to my homeland of Texas.

Via London, I made it from Dallas, Texas to Kenya in about 24 hours. While adjusting to the time change (12 hours) in Nairobi, I came upon a witch doctor-blind and sitting under a tree. He identified himself as a healer and said he could balance energy because he had been gifted with the ability to embody pure energy which can cause miracle healings. His fee to clear my energy was 7 cents.

Using a translator, I asked another healer what his methods included. He said that a witch doctor always worked with a medicine man who first attempted to solve imbalances with herbs, poultices and bitter teas. If symptoms persisted, a witch doctor was called in to devise a plan to eradicate the evil spirit causing the problems.

One ceremony used by this tribe involved a circle of 10 young men around the “sick” person who was seated off-center. A large fire was built over a few hours and the men walked, then marched, then danced around until one was drawn to the ailing person and began to draw the sick energy into himself until he fell to the ground from the weight of it. His tribe mates would dance around him until they absorbed all they could of the cosmic poison hopefully dispersing it back into the universe.

The medicine man explained to me that a tribe could not afford to have a sick person living among them-hospitals were unheard of. Nightmares and recurring dreams are two places the healer searches for answers to health concerns. Painful issues that we don’t deal with during the day confront us in dreams and nightmares he explained.

That was just a touch of what I learned from my time with the Masai tribe on the Masai Mara which is roughly 6 hours by jeep outside of Nairobi. In the cities, parents name kids after American presidents so tourists will give them money. Americans are known to be rich by most countries’ standards. On TV, they see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie come swirl an orphan from obscurity to fame and think each of us might be there to do the same.

Mombasa, which is a port city similar to San Diego, was 85% Muslim and it was rare to see a female without a cloth, or burka, covering her. I wore one of the cover-ups while I was spice shopping and it made me feel like a piece of furniture. Even covered, the women got very alarmed if you tried to take their picture.

We need what they have. The tribal mentality could save us from ourselves. Right now, we are poisoning our planet-our food and water sources. Air is our next critical issue. Living as though we really are connected to the soil-because we really are connected to the soil-is how we heal, as a world, as an earth, as the human race.

Umer Malik

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