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The Surfer Dude and The Maasai Queen
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Saturday, May 04, 2002
Have you ever wondered where I found my wife, M'buti? Well, she and I met while I was working in the burn ward of Nashville Memorial Hospital; she was a patient of mine. Man, I tell you--I first laid eyes on her, and my heart went: "SPROING!!" It was INSTANT love from the get-go!!
As I got to know her, I found out that she was originally from Africa, in Kenya. She was the youngest of three kids (2 boys and a girl), and she was of the Maasai tribe. She was TALL (well over 6'), but she was rail-thin skinny: I bet she didn't weigh OVER l30--IF that. She had been raped and then set ablaze by her attacker--and spent a whole year in the hospital as a result (but I won't go into any more details). She was the prettiest thing I ever saw: dark chocolate-brown skin that was as smooth as silk, amber eyes that changed color depending on her mood (orange if she was mad, dark-brown if worried or upset or scared), short, short "nappy" black hair cut close to her perfectly-shaped head, a shy smile (I've never figured why she doesn't like to show off her teeth when she smiles; she always hides her mouth when she smiles), a straight nose that flared out at the bottom, and a KILLER body. In other words, drop-dead GORGEOUS.
M'buti (pronounced Em-boo-tay) has had very little to smile about: first, her health's too bad. She's on full disability and can't work (although she wants to; she is SO-O BORED staying at home while I bring home the bacon!). She walks with a walker (or crutches if for short trips), but mainly uses her wheelchair. She has a lot of scarring on her body, and her legs are an absolute mess. Besides being burned she survived a bout of the flesh-eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis) and nearly died after she lost an incredible amount of weight. (She's just now gotten up to 110 pounds. It takes SO DANGED LONG for her to gain weight!!) She also had severe, chronic pain and eventually had to have surgery to stop it, it was that bad. She couldn't eat except by tube, but now that the "nose hose" is out of the picture she eats like a HORSE!!
We eventually fell in love, but poor M'buti has had to learn to live with me. One thing I am EXTREME in a lot of ways. My personality is something to be desired; you NEVER know how I'll react or what I'll say. Call me "Mr. Unpredictable!!" I also LOVE to surf (I've "hung ten" since I lived in California [although it's HARD to surf here in Tennessee!!!! No killer tubular waves to speak of, man!!]), and I love ANY athletic sport. I am also extremely outgoing while M'buti is as shy as a church mouse: you can hardly get her to say ANYTHING; when she DOES speak her voice is so breathy and soft I have to keep telling her to TALK LOUDER!!!!!!
We got married almost 2 1/2 years ago at my boss' house, and a year ago God blessed us with our first child. Yep. This "surf-rat" is now a daddy!! (Smile.) Our son is named Jubaki Miguel Sormiento, and he looks EXACTLY like M'buti!! He acts like me, though: he's ALWAYS laughing, and he hardly ever cries--unless he's pooped his diaper or is wet. If hungry he whimpers or calls out: "Mama". Then M'buti feeds him. (Jubaki is named after M'buti's deceased father, Mbaki, and also me: Miguel is my middle name.)
Another thing about M'buti: She's an AMAZING cook. She specializes in East African fare (although I KNOW BETTER than to drink her asaroi, which is cow's milk mixed with beef blood; to her it's Heaven, but I think it's downright NASTY!! I get nauseated just THINKING about it!!!!!!). She also cooks good Mexican food, especially enchiladas and chile con carne'. (She hasn't tried cooking Cajun fare; she's not a fan of Cajun food. The MUSIC, on the other hand----)
I am blessed to have M'buti as my wife, and I am equally blessed in having a child.
I think M'buti has softened this surf-rat somewhat: I'm not NEARLY as wild as I used to be!!!!
And besides..Louie (she's my boss) can actually put up with me. (If not, she threatens to pacify me with her cane!!)
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