Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The day after the ceremony we returned to the desolate spot where it had occurred. A bleacher had been set up for us to sit on.  I was on the top level chatting with Susan, one of the most stable and sanest people on the trip. All of a sudden and out of the blue, she began to cry hysterically.

"What's wrong? Was it something I said?" knowing it could not be related to our meaningless chatter. "I don't know why I am crying," she said amid the sound effects and gasping that accompany hysterical people.

At that moment, the Voodoo Priest, Acquete, noticed the commotion and walked over to the bottom of the bleachers. He made some dramatic hand gestures and she stopped crying instantly. She had no idea why she started or instantly stopped crying.

When the debriefing meeting to explain what happened the night before at the ceremony began, I raised my hand and asked the equivalent of WTF just happened?  The explanation, translated from African to French to English came back as this:

The Priest throws firecrackers all about at the ceremony to scare away the bad spirits. He blows perfume spray to attract the good spirits. Some of the bad guys lingered in the area and had invaded Susan this morning. His finger motions scared them away.

To this day, I have never been able to come up with a better explanation. Can you? Contact me if you would like to know the three hand gestures he used. I have them down pat!

Bye For Now,


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