After my discussion with my friend Peter about his visit to the traditional doctor, he promised to take me to meet Dr. Moses. After buying boxed wine and bread for the doctor, we took a taxi and then a motorbike to his house about 30 minutes outside of Bamenda. When we arrived at his house, we were warmly greeted and given bamboo stools to sit on inside his mud brick home. After some brief introductions, Dr. Moses looked at me and said, "You have stomach problems and you have terrible dreams that worry you so much that you sweat in the night." I was flabbergasted. How could he know this after only telling him my name and my relationship to Peter? He was right, my stomach was bothering me that morning and a few days earlier I had a terrible nightmare about one of my friends that was disconcerning. I asked Dr. Moses how he knew this and he said that he had four eyes and he could see spiritual causes of sickness that other people cannot see.
|Dr. Moses and his son in front of his house|
He then walked across the room and reached inside two rice bags and pulled out two different kinds of powders, one was reddish in color and the other greenish. He placed the powders in my hands and told me to eat it. Both tasted like sawdust and dirt.
|Dr. Moses' pharmacy|
After drinking half my water bottle to rid my mouth of the taste, Dr. Moses showed us around his farm where he cultivates the medicine. Before we looked at the different plants, we walked past his father's grave. His father taught him everything he knows and when someone is very sick, he asks that person to stand on top of his father's grave so he can invoke his father's spirit to aide in the healing.
After visiting the farm we returned to Dr. Moses' parlor/consultation room where he showed us the traditional bags that he uses in treatment. The bags were made by his father out of animal skins. Before he uses them they are warmed in front of a fire and then medicine is placed inside. He will then hit the sick person with the bags wherever they feel pain. Next, he lit a fire inside of a clay pot so that the smoke would drive away any evil spirits that were seeking to harm us.
While the fire was burning we talked a bit more about my "belly pain". Dr. Moses told me that it was the result of someone in the United States casting a curse upon me and there was an evil spirit inside. He told me to hold my stomach while he held out his hand, closed his hands, and uttered some words. He then promised me that the pain would be gone forever. Was he right? Does my "belly no di bite" as is said in Pidgin, meaning no more stomach pain? Time will tell.