News from the weekend

A few words from your village yak. Some of you may not be aware of what’s happening in the far reaches of our village. The storm hit us all hard, and you may not have realized that, according to Kedao and Sarah Andrews, lives were lost. Death rituals were performed accordingly last week. The farmers were badly affected and this may warrant some response by the community, though there seems to be a lot of disagreement on what to do. Paloma’s crops were largely destroyed, so the situation is quite serious for some, but while some villagers, like Becky Vinci, are sharing what they have with others in our own community, it sounds like others are keeping what they need close at hand in case of future disasters. Ngyuen Thi Hang Nga reports that some farmers are even raising prices: “As a community we were not able to work together to help prepare for the storm. Everyone was a little bit selfish and only wanted to help themselves. In fact, the farmers gathered all the crops and have increased the prices, so the poor people cannot afford to buy any rice or vegetables to feed their family.” I heard that an increasing number of people, and not only farmers, are keeping a storehouse of food in reserve for such disasters — this seems smart, but what about those who have nothing? Leah suggests that if the our food supplies have been dangerously affected, it might be good to consider trading with a nearby village.

As is often the case, when people are panicked they try to figure out what went wrong and who might be to blame. Some have been critical of the ritualists, but Laurel disagrees, saying “The ritualists are not to blame. The village as a whole did not protect themselves with both amulets, and suffered the consequences.” She has shown leadership in rallying fellow villages to help repair the bridge. Alison conferred with “our headmaster Ngawang”, who “organized the creation and ritual destruction of a gossip girl effigy”. Leah von Zuben was also involved in this procedure, which took place a bit outside the village. Jonathan Selvalingham called upon a female village elder who provided guidance at a town centre meeting soon after the hailstorm, and Steph Till also sought guidance from a village elder. I wonder if the village elders could start working together?

According to Ghazal S, the village stricken by the naga illness is the same village that the lama is planning to visit. What amazing good fortune! Various people have been collecting healing incense ingredients from the forest and doctors have been making precious pills. Maybe when the doctors and ritualists are there they can find out more about the lama’s visit? What kinds of empowerments and teachings will he be giving there? Maybe we can pool resources somehow with that village? I don’t know, but we could certainly use the lama’s help here.

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