Sunday, August 30, 2009

Masaii Village Visit

Hello H2o fans!

We have not been with you for the past few days. We had an chance to see what life is like in a rural village and we were completely out of Internet range. Before I tell you about that I want to bring you up to date as to what we have been doing in the days gone by.

Following our game drive in the early morning we took the afternoon to learn a little about the Masaii people by visisting a a Massaii village. I am certain that most of you are familiar with the Masaii people. They are the people who wear the very colorful red clothes and are know for the piercings in their ears that allow their ear lobes to grow very long with big holes for jewelery. They are nomadic people and raise goats and cows. As a result, their homes are not permanent and they move to where the best grazing land is for their herds. They have lots of rights with the Kenyan government and can graze their herds after dark in the Masai Mara and we have even seen them grazing cows on the grassy medians in Nairobi.

Their huts are built of twigs and cow dung. Doesn't sound pleasant but when you stand inside, they really don't smell so bad. The homes are very small. Half of the house is set aside as a room for new calves and the other half has two bedrooms and a very meager kitchen between the bedrooms. Blankets for the beds consist of cow hides and the kitchen is a fire pit were the women cook with the couple pots that they own.

The people are very hard workers. Boys and men spend the day in the countryside watching over the animals. Yes, even small boys, 7-8 years old are seen herding the cows. There is no such thing as Ninetendo, movies, or even a day off. The kids are on their summer break right now but when school is in session, they go to school during the day and do chores from sun-up until bedtime. Girls haul water. Surprised? Kenya is going through a severe drought and the distances that they must walk is much further and the quality of the water is much worse.

After dancing with the men- Chris jumped the highest- and singing and dancing with the women, we had the chance to shop in their market. They had a variety of gorgeous jewelry, bowls, tools- anything that they normally use. We, of course, purchased more than we planned. It was our hottest day yet of the trip, and the dusty manyatta (what they call their homes) seemed stifling! We were ready to head back to Fig Tree for a dip in the pool.

We did one last game run in the afternoon. Again, the leopard was not seen! I guess we'll have to come back.

On Friday we are heading to Nairobi to pick up a few supplies and then onward to Kathungu school and village, and Kwamalelu school. This community is the birthplace of H2O for Life! We are looking forward to re-visiting our first completed project (June,2007)- a sand dam on the Kwa Kasolo river.


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