mardi 17 octobre 2017


ARNE VAINIO, my Ojibway brother, was being honoured as the American Indian Physician of the Year 2017 at a meeting where I was one of the speakers. Our meeting and the deep feeling we felt for each other was instantaneous.
Is this a Bromance? joked his wife. They live in Duluth, Minnesota and he is a Family Physician to the Fon du Lac band of Ojibway.
When we said good bye to each other we knew we will meet each other again soon.
Not even a week had passed when I was asked whether I would be interested in going to Minnesota to give some lectures, I was eager to go and imagine my happiness when I found out that one of the places I would be talking was Duluth!
He was one of the first people to RSVP to the invitation, said the local contact person and he arrived and we just felt so happy to see each other.
I felt his presence soothing and comforting to me, it is as if we had known each other for generations.
He gave me two things: native tobacco which was his own and also wild rice that he had harvested by the lakeside from a secret place. I was grateful.
Soon after the meeting I went to Rapa Nui and I had the tobacco he had given me in my pocket. At the very first chance I got, I walked down to Tahai area where the lone Moai stood at the original palace area of the first king of Rapa Nui.
There were only a couple of visitors to the area. I offered the Moai tobacco before I prayed in no specific order:
my family in Belgium, my sister and her family in Miami, my mischpochah in Portland, my Cuban friends, my Omaha friends. I prayed in the Native American fashion without asking for any favours but asking the spirits to accept the tobacco given to me my Ojibway brother. 
Moai usually have a vision that look straight ahead of them, I was surprised to see when this photo was taken and you can observe it, it was as if the Moai was looking at me, full of pity for my humble self but pleased at the tobacco.
Tobacco has great symbolic value in the Native American tradition
I know that I will be seeing my brother Arne Vainio sometime soon, and also the Moai will draw me back to Rapa Nui, of this I am certain.
I felt immensely happy and that happiness continues as I write this at the Blue House where I stay among the Omaha Indians.