Hard to know where to begin except to say we had one of the most incredible insights into Maasai culture & feel so privledged.
The day started early with us up at 5 & out the door by 630 am....thats a first with kids! We were off to "Maasai land" where Adam has been helping a missionary (Nick) with English lessons for some maasai. Normally outsiders are not allowed to this area but we had been invited so felt incredibly lucky. Usually the only contact with "muzungus" might be at these lessons or when they sell their cattle so the culture remains very traditional. The drive there was spectacular. We passed by mountains and corn plantations and then hit the dry plains, complete with the flat acacias & cactus trees...ohhh....now it feels like were in africa! We passed by a group of giraffe which had all of us hanging out the windows in excitement as this was not a national park...just beautiful, wild Tanzania. One broke into a slow gallop & Zoe and Zac loved it. The dusty, bumpy roads well & truly initiated our 4WD & we soon had fine dust through EVERYTHING. We looked liked we'd rolled in foundation. We arrived at the little school after passing several masaai villages. It was a single mud building with open,air windows & a few bench seats but with a tin roof & watertank which was impressive. The maasai are such an elegant people, tall and slender with bright red blankets, & decorated with beaded necklaces, anklets, & earrings. They greeted us with big white smiles & spiced chai served from a thermos in tin mugs. After watching the goats get herded by & with the sounds of their tin bells in the background, the class began. It started with singing & of course jumping. It was fantastic.
The Maasai live in bomas which are round houses made by the women of branches & cow dung. The bomas are surrounded by a fence of thorny sticks to keep out lions & other predators. The cattle, goats are brought inside at night to a central clearing.
We had lunch of meat, rice & tea before being ushered into one of the bomas. Here we were presented with beautiful handmade beaded necklaces & anklets by the family. We were very touched. Much to Zac &Zoe's delight, they got to hold a very placcid baby goat...which Zac happily recounted to everyone for days afterwards. Had to ensure a thorough flea check after that encounter! Seems to be the routine here before one goes inside! We managed to find the right dusty tracks to return home, passing more giraffe. No longer thinking it strange, we stopped to give a lift to a massai man seemingly walking in the middle of nowhere with a long, bendy stick that we had considerable trouble fitting into the car. Never did find out what it was for. What a day... we returned filthy but buzzing... & thankfully flea free!