Tuesday, January 12, 2010

El Huevo


As a cook in a home that has been largely dominated by vegetarianism for the past five years, I find eggs to be pretty much a staple. We're not vegan and I cannot imagine a life without breakfast tacos so where does that leave us? Eggs!

Well, today I got an egg-ful that I wasn't expecting. We have a new nanny/housekeeper - an interesting staple of the Foreign Service life. And, being that we are in Latin-America (or at least an extension of it) I guess it wasn't surprising that el huevo came up when I mentioned that our 21 month-old, Sam, seems to be having bad dreams. For several nights he has been waking up and screaming. It usually doesn't take long to get him calmed down, but he seems frightened and out-of-it and generally doesn't sleep well after that.

For many years, the vast majority of my clients were immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America, so it wasn't the first time I had heard of pasando el huevo or limpiar con huevo - an ancient Native American technique designed to rid the body of bad energy or illness. A whole raw egg is passed over the person's body and then discarded along with whatever things were sacado.

When our nanny mentioned that she could do it I thought, "Well, it can't hurt" and gave her permission to go ahead with it. To begin with she had to procure an egg. We have about 2 ½ dozen in our fridge, but…um…those won't work. She had to go out and buy one at the colmado - where, of course, you can buy one egg because this is DR. Five pesos in hand, I sent her on her way. The huevo sat all day in the kitchen until, after bath, book and song, Sammy was ready for sleep.

So here's how it went: She began by simply touching the egg to his leg. He rolled over and looked at her, gave a peaceful smile, then closed his eyes, grabbed his lovey and snuggled down. She continued to silently pass the egg over his body. It seemed to me that she was focusing on pressure points. Interestingly, she kept the egg moving the whole time, applying firm pressure, but obviously not so firm that it would break the egg. Sammy quickly fell into a deep sleep. She continued passing the egg for about five minutes. She then cracked the egg into a glass of water and went into the hallway to look at it under the light. This was actually the most amazing part! Almost the entire yolk was white! She said that he must have had "a lot." One thing I noticed is that he has been teething and she seemed really drawn to his jaw. She says that when she is passing the egg she can feel the parts of the body that are imbalanced or that need focus.

For me, when the whole thing was done and I saw the yolk I actually felt a little freaked out. I hadn't really expected it to "work" - whatever that means. And if it hadn't been for the white yolk then I probably would have been like, "Well, it was relaxing and he fell asleep. No big deal!" Obviously, there is the possibility that her warm hand and Sammy's warm body "cooked" the egg, etc, etc. Who knows? He is sleeping soundly though.

As for the egg - it's long gone. My husband had asked her at dinner if you're supposed to eat it. She thought that was crazy - because obviously she would then consume all the "bad stuff." And as for me, I am left wondering what a plate of scrambled eggs is gonna' look like come Saturday morning.

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