The word Timu is supposed to be derived from the Karamojong word akitimur which means something like ‘to rest’ and possibly overtones of ‘to swoon’. Legend has it that in the old days,
I experienced it yesterday, and I wanted to tell you about it. Yesterday afternoon, I set out on foot, on my second attempt to find a way to a certain hill near our Ikland home that has a great view of the Kenyan Rift Valley (I could just ask an Ik the way, but then I wouldn’t be exploring, would I?) Though the sky had been promising rain, it had only sprinkled at the time, so I put on my camouflage rain jacket and rubber boots and headed down the trail. Because of the altitude (6500 ft.) we are often in the clouds. Now I was in the clouds, the silent mists that the Ik call gozhoik. As the gozhoik moved over the ridge, their moisture collected on the high grass, and I quickly got soaked from the waist down. I could hear the ‘squish, squish, squish’ as I trod along in my sopping gumboots. No use turning back now. I am already wet.
Through the fog I kept following a faint trail in hopes that the skies would clear up eventually. They didn’t. When I started going down an incline I was unfamiliar with, I decided I should sit and wait for a while. So I found a rock and sat down. I took off my boots and wringed out my socks. And I sat quietly. And I sat some more. The mists kept wafting gently through the woods. I could only see a stone’s throw in any direction. My world became small and unknown. Little by little, the forest eased at my presence. After a good long time, birds began to stir. A pair of bulbuls came to loudly investigate. The hopped from branch to branch, trying to get the angle that would identify the strange creature huddled on the rock (me). Down the valley through the haze, something—I don’t know what it was. A bird? A monkey?—began a loud, howling call that echoed eerily up the hill. Something else rustled in the grass near my rock.
Then, my mind began to wander. Nearly hypnotized, I began to remember my own dreams: dreams of life, dreams of career, dreams of childhood, dreams of