Monday, October 12, 2009

Faces of OPD

I see lots of faces everyday. The other day a lady walked in my room and I couldn't help but look longer at her face. It was dotted with a tatoo that they did in the village. After talking to her about why she was there, I started to ask her about her "bilas" (decoration). She told me people in the village did it, but she couldn't tell me why they did it. She seemed embarrassed by it, but obviously couldn't hide it. She had a younger wasmeri with her, so I asked the patient if her wasmeri should have it done too, but she said no. I asked what it was made out of and I understood the black ash of some plant, but I wasn't really sure.
The next patient who walked through my door also had her face tatooed. Her pattern was different than the first. When I asked her about it, she too told me people in the village did it. I asked if she did it to anyone else, or if there was one person in the village who did it to all the women. She said she didn't do it to anyone else, but didn't really answer if there was one person who did it in the village. I asked her if she would do it to her young daughter who was with her, she told me no. It was something they use to do, but don't anymore. I asked why they started it and why they stopped it, but she couldn't say. So, I don't know why exactly the people use to do this, but it apparently has grown out of favor. However, given that it was a permanent something, they aren't able to undo what they had done to them.