Saturday, May 15, 2010

Masai Mara Part 1: Masai Village

It has been a wild couple of weeks: going on a 3 day safari in the Maasi Mara and then spending 8 days on the coast at Diani Beach.  Claire and I are safely back at Nyumbani and will be here for almost one week before our last excursion to Tanzania and then flying to the UK.  I am hoping to use this week to relax and study for the Praxis test I have to take in London on the 12th of June while Claire will be volunteering at Nyumbani with the nurse and maybe the Shamba Man (the gardener!)

Last week Claire and I went with two other volunteers (Heather and Louise) to the Masai Mara Game reserve which is Kenya's most popular safari destination.  It is about a 5 hour drive from Nairobi.  We stayed in a tented camp, Kimata Tented Camp, just at the gate to the park.  It is by far the fanciest "camping" I will ever do.  There were hot showers, flushing toilets, queen size beds, and great food. 
On the first day before heading out on the game drive we stopped by a Masai Village (SEE PICS BELOW) where (for a small fee) the young warriors of the village showed us around, explained how they lived, demonstrated their singing and dancing, and then showed us to their market where we could buy the traditional beadwork that they are known for.  They are a very interesting culture, traditional cattle herdsmen who still practice polygomy-- their riches consist of both cattle and wives-- and it was fun to see them living very similar to how their ancestors have lived for the past few hundred years.

Grant wearing the lion's head that the Masai warrior, on the right, killed (a tradition that is completed for a boy to become a man/warrior at the age 15.)

Jumping competition

Traditional Masai woman

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It is a tradition for the men and women to gage their ears.

Read the next blog that will have pics of the animals we saw on the safari.

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