08 May 2009

Epilepsy Lessons

We had an utterly useless session today on epilepsy at the SJC.  Sue was lucky and got to skip, but I had to suffer through.  However, three things were gained from my time at the center.  First, I learned about stigmas associated with epilepsy in the area.  Learned today:

  • You are not allowed to marry a person with epilepsy, they have evil spirits and are essentially cursed.
  • Do not cross the threshold of a house with an epileptic.  If you do you can get it as well.
  • Epileptic people who are burned during a seizure cannot be treated at a hospital.  This was not fully explained, but it is believed that nothing can be done and there was a hint that it was a punishment of sorts.
  • If you touch a person during a seizure you can can catch epilepsy from him or her.
  • People with epilepsy are curt, mean, moody, and not all the way right in the head.
  • My favorite is for last.  A CBRW announced that she knew a family that had been involved in a series of murders.  They lived on the same plot after the murders and had children.  As a punishment for the murders, evil spirits have taken to the children in the form of epilepsy.  She was adament about this story and did not seem to be convinced that the children were sick for reasons other than the parents evil deeds.

Second, I played with Angela’s son Gracious.  He is always terrified when he sees a mzungu, but comes around after a few minutes.  I pushed him around the center on the small tricycle after the meeting was over.  Finally, Nancy came by to make us some chai and picked up mandazi for everyone.  Despite the pointless experience, it was nice to have free food and a chance to play with Gracious.

Back at home the kids gathered to hang out.  Being that it is Friday, we screened The Incredibles.  They sat quietly, enjoying the movie on my laptop.  Sue came by, Michael came home and lunch was had at the Honey Drop.  Chicken and Sakuma washed down by a Fanta was a nice treat.  Then it was a quick stop for a beer at the Frisa bar and guesthouse.

This weekend we will complete Wedlock of the Gods when Ken brings it over.  Now that the kids are back to school and it is a weekend, I expect that they will be around for the majority of the day to watch the rest of the movie and do some coloring.