September 17th, 2006 – by: Emster109
Sept. 17: Woke up at six today to go on a nature walk. We had some tea and then started walking down into the dry riverbed right by camp. We eventually went onto the bank and it was kind of foresty, but dry. Everything is dry. Nangalesh stopped and cut a stick off a plant and made me a Maasai toothbrush! You just chew the end until it frays. Very cool. We came across a place that the warriors said they used to play at when they were kids. Its like a natural fort and there are vines hanging down that you can use as a swing! I gave it a try. We kept walking farther away from the riverbed and when we got to the savannah, I looked out and saw giraffes!!! I mean real, wild giraffes, not 50 yards away! There was a family of four.
Giraffes on the nature walk!
It was so unreal! I didnt think it could get much better but then we saw two ostrich! I didnt even know ostriches lived in Africa. Later, we saw a herd of zebras and a gazelle. The zebras were really cute and they just sat and watched us for a while. Some time during the walk, the warriors dug up some kind of root to chew on. Apparently, if theres no water you chew on it to suck out the moisture. It tasted good, like raw peas, but it was really fibrous and youre not supposed to swallow it.
When we got back, we ate breakfast and then went to church. It was quite an experience, both good and bad. The first part was incredible, and very moving. Everyone was singing and dancing in praise and even though I had no idea what they were saying, I was almost moved to tears.
Brushing our teeth, Maasai style
Something about the African harmonies and the movement, dancing in exaltation! It was absolutely amazing. My dad and I were asked to come up and talk, say hi to the congregation and whatnot. My dad told everyone hes a minister and then went into a talk about how Jesus loves everyone no matter how theyre dressed, etc. The problem is that the Christian Maasai now believe their brothers and sisters who are not Christian are ignorant and sinful. They all wear western clothing because they think it is more pleasing to God. Kakuta wanted my dad to speak to that. But as the service went on it was clear that these people were not going to change their super-traditional, Bible-is-literal mindset. So then we sat through THREE HOURS of church. I honestly thought I was going to pass out due to heat and lack of water, not to mention fervent preachers talking about bad fruit and dressing modestly for the Lord.
Loading up the truck
If it had ended with the singing and dancing that would have been great, but there were a few extra hours of praise Gods and speaking in tongues added to the end. And let's be honest, if you were to ask me where I felt closer to God, either the walk through the savannah or in the church, I would immediately answer that God was much more present for me out in nature.
Finally church ended and we ate lunch and went to see where the water pipeline would be put in. There ended up being about 15 people in the back of this beater of a truck, going really fast down a bumpy dirt road. Like I said, driving in Kenya is quite the experience! So, it takes a really long time for the Maasai to make decisions because they take a long time to discuss all aspects of the situation. We ended up going to Kakutas uncles to get permission to send the pipeline through his land. It took a very long time. I got some quality time with Quenya and Nangalesh though, which was nice. The warriors are such great guys! We pretty much just hung out the rest of the day.