We visited a Masai village this morning and then did a quick game drive. Sean told us that this village is authentic and only a few tourists visit. The mud huts were surrounded by a BOMA, which is a fence constructed of spiky twigs and long branches. The BOMA keeps any predators, such as lions, from entering the village. A herd of sheep and goats were fenced inside. Once entering, you are immediately attacked by swarms of flies. There are so many of them that they almost cover your exposed areas and your camera. Sean told us that the Masai used to move every six months and burn the village down upon departure. This process would cleanse the area of dung, flies, ticks etc. They do not move anymore and now the dung, flies and ticks have become a problem. We were guided around the village by one of the Masai men, but the flies and shadows made photography difficult. After our tour, some of the women offered to sell us some of their jewelry and other hand made items. This is a way to help them and I purchased bead bracelets for my granddaughters. Seeing this village and getting a glimpse of this lifestyle reminds me how fortunate many of us are. I must admit that whenever I see and experience people such as the Masai, I always think how lucky I am.
Our free noon drive was not a drive. We went to visit the Masai Olympics. What a spectacle. There must have been two hundred young men and women present. They were all wearing their normal Masai wardrobe. The first event was spear throwing. The men formed a long line and each man was given three opportunities to throw their spear. I sat low to the ground, set my shutter speed at 2000 and clicked away. The next event was a race. I noticed that most of the men and women were not wearing shoes. The men ran first and lined up. I sat at the finish line and took pictures of them running towards me. They did this race twice and then it was the women’s turn. The next event was tug of war. The men went first and the women followed. After the events, we hiked up to a large mound, but I was driven up. The Masai then lined up in a straight line and started to sing while making a huge circle and then walking up the mound. Once they reached the top, they sang and advanced towards us and then moved back. The men formed a semicircle and started to jump high up in the air while singing. I have tried to explain this amazing experience as best as possible, but you had to be here to really get the idea. An experience that will last a lifetime.
Tomorrow we leave Amboseli and fly to Nairobi. Karen, Andy and myself meet up with four new members of the group and the previous four return home. Spend tomorrow night in Nairobi and then it’s off to Lewa. More on that later.