A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Friday, July 31, 2009

Exorcisms Next Door

My dear sweet neighbor Grace, who I scared a few weeks ago, is having night terrors. Lately, I have been awoken around 3 am by her screaming, sobbing, and calling out. I even hear my name. She screams out prayers that include, “Mamma! Mamma! Mamma! (some Luganda) Yesu, my friend save me! (Luganda mixture) Yesu! Yesu! Amanda! Mamma Fred! (Luganda words) Yesu!” Then I hear claps and banging noises. Grace has dreams that men live in the corners of her room and come to abduct her and sacrifice her. Her mom, Annette, is clapping into the corners to show her there is no one there and also to ward off the evil spirits.

Lately, many of the teachers and community members have been taking about child sacrifice. It has made me so angry because they are scaring the children. Then, I found out that a little boy in the next town was abducted and sacrificed last week. So, poor Grace’s night terrors are founded.

Annette is at the end of her rope. She is very distressed and does not know what to do. She has taken Grace to the doctor, sleeps with her, and lately has brought in some Born Again’s (Pentecostal’s) to pray over Grace and the room each night. It sounds like they are having exorcisms to me.

For my part, I have given Grace Sleepy-Time tea and read, “The Berenstain Bears Bad Dream,” with her. Still, the night terrors persist.

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