Week 8-2: A Maasai Kinda Weekend

Hello friends,

I have added some new people to my e-mail list, so welcome to my blog about my experiences in Kenya as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) with the PC(USA).

This past weekend the Foxfires and I journeyed to Maasai land with Project Esther of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. The Maasai tribe is one of the most popular tribes in Africa today because they rejected Westernization when Africa was colonized and still today avoid much of the Western influence.  Therefore, they have really cool clothes, bling, and houses.

Project Esther provides feminine products to girls so that they don’t have to miss school for days every month.  They actually just bring a few products for each girl, teach them how they work, and hope that with the knowledge that such a thing exist they will purchase more.  They also do counseling with the girls and give them an open form to discuss issues they would normally not be allowed to discuss because of the Maasai/African tradition.  Now it’s story time:

(Begin writing in 3rd person)
So, in order for Robert to fit in a bus, with his amazingly long legs, he likes to sit in the very back middle seat so his legs can stretch out into the walkway.  In this instance, it was a very bad idea, why you ask?  First, the road to where he was going had A LOT of holes (construction work) and therefore, his head hit the ceiling on occasion.  Note: The bus was tall enough for Robert to almost stand up straight in, that’s a long way up.  Second, the back seat is also logically where you put all of the things you are bringing with you on a trip, in this case hundreds of feminine products.  Thus, Robert’s ride to Maasai land consisted of him flying through the air A LOT immediately followed by feminine products raining down on his head like manna from heaven.  On the ride home, he decided to sit in the front of the bus sideways so his ride home went much more smoothly.
(Cease writing in 3rd person)

From Maasai

When we journey away from the city, as I have said before, the mzungu (white person) population drops substantially/completely.  Also, in Maasai land most people don’t have power and thus television, so they are not use to my US accent like everyone in Nairobi who watch Everwood, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, and a lot of other US programs.  Thus, they don’t understand me although we both speak English.  Story time round two:

Cosmos and I had finished our counseling session and were sitting watching a soccer game.  All of the sudden, Cosmos decides that he is sleepy and goes to take a nap and I am left sitting by my-Mzungu-self.  Ten minutes or so pass and I begin to hear whispers and footsteps behind me…five more minutes and I hear more and more.  I finally turn around and their is a substantial crowd of girls (60-70) staring at the back of my neck.  I decide to get up and go inside and work on my Swahili flash cards that I had brought with me.  They followed me peering throught the window at first, but eventually they had me surrounded and were helping me with my Swahili, rubbing the hair on my arms and head to make sure it was attached, and rubbing my skin to make sure it wasn’t just paint.  I took a very short video of them rubbing my hair.

Very Short Video of kids feeling my “soft hair” in Maasai Land:

After the group got back together from all of the different schools to which we dispersed, we sat in lawn chairs and watched the sunset. I felt like I was back in Oklahoma or Texas sitting in the backyard at a BBQ. It was very nice, perfect almost, but lacked BBQ.

Video of Maasai women getting food:

From Maasai
From Maasai

From Maasai
We went to one more all girls boarding school at night which was amazing to be with that many people singing Jesus’ songs in minimal light.  We returned to where we were staying the night and sat around eating rice and spinach.  It was one of those magical nights where everyone is laughing so hard that they are crying.  I told my story of preaching my first Sunday and asking to use the bathroom instead of the toilet.  I told them how I laughed for 10 minutes the first time I heard the pronounce Eden because they say ed-ann.  Then I was given a Kikuyu name by the group which is Muraya (pronounced Mariah) meaning “the tall one.”  So, now I have a Kikuyu name which I called constantly.  We pitched tents inside a church, which I thought was weird, for privacy for the women and men (Cosmos, Jack, and me).

From Maasai

Sunday, my friend I made on the trip, Paita (pronounced like Peter) gave me a Maasai watch band which is my new bling.

We returned home tired after a good weekend. I will be writing more about my second visit to Maasai land this week in the next few days. If you would like to subscribe to receive an e-mail every time I update my blog then please enter your e-mail address on the right above the word “Subscribe.”  Thanks. Have a great day, friends!

4 Responses to “Week 8-2: A Maasai Kinda Weekend”

  1. Grober October 30, 2008 at 5:13 pm #

    >This is absolutely amazing – such a cute video of them petting you! Love you, Tall One!

  2. Dawn October 30, 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    >I just noticed what you are currently reading. Cindy gave me “Blue Like Jazz” to read last summer. Great book, very insightful. Like your blingDawn Farrar

  3. shyla October 31, 2008 at 3:12 am #

    >Yeay! You’re fantastic. Those kids are indulging in a past time Eric and I have just named “Roberts Petting.” We tried to phone, to no avail? Go read my blog. Please. Love you!

  4. Wendy November 22, 2008 at 4:46 am #

    >Wow, with that bling, and spending a year in Africa and all, you’re really going to be an OG when you come back. Remember that time you met Xibit and his entourage? Hahaha…

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