Before leaving the Maasai Mara safari and heading back to Nairobi, the WoD team visited a Maasai primary school, bringing them needed supplies, and then went to the local village to meet the Maasai people.
It was Sunday when we went to the school, so unfortunately none of the kids were there, but the headmaster was nonetheless grateful for the supplies we brought, and showed us the inside of the school. As with most schools I’ve seen in Kenya, there are no posters on the walls to help with learning.
Teaching aids are drawn right onto the school walls. From drawings about the weather, geography, and human anatomy, it is all is displayed on one of the classroom walls.
After leaving the school, we all ventured over to the village. The Maasai show us how the men jump vertically,explaining that the higher one can jump, the better position you have in your tribe. The women chant and sing with the girls in our group, a bonding experience for all the females, I would imagine.
They show us how they start fire with only sticks, and take us into their homes made of dung, telling us stories of killing lions so that the men can get married, day to day life in their village, how termites will destroy their homes in about ten years and they will start to build again, all while sitting around the fire inside as family members and goats sleep side by side.
For all the beauty of this rich culture, I see signs of change in the Maasai. Signs of a smaller world encroaching upon their very livelihood. Children in regular clothes instead of traditional Maasai clothing, adults with cell phones and watches. I feel lucky to have been with the Maasai the last three years, as I feel that their old ways are slowly disappearing.
But some things haven’t changed, like watching a white guy get stranded in a sea of cow dung, wondering how to get out of the predicament….
|Lane in open toe sandals in the middle of the dung.|
or seeing a white guy try to jump with the Maasai….