Kenya and Masai Mara
Trip Start Jan 09, 2008
7Trip End Mar 21, 2008
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Kenya and Helping Maasai Schoolchildren...
Yes, it's definitely a safe place for travelers! No worries! We've spent 10 days experiencing Nairobi and ended up the trip with a few days on the Maasai Mara and into the Serengeti Park.
After spending ten weeks living on a game reserve, we're a little spoiled for game drives, but the Maasai people were so amazing to get to know while we were at their camp for a few days. Theirs is a civilization that hasn't changed very much since the 15th century! The men still take the cattle out to graze every morning and bring them back into the village at night for safety
Women of the village build the houses made of straw and cow dung. Women also carry the water from the distant rivers. A VERY heavy job! They made us most welcome in their village and even invited us to spend the night in one of the huts -- it was tempting, but at that point, the tent cot was looking VERY good!
We visited their school -- just this past year, a law was passed that all children would attend Primary School -- and everyone is SO proud of this school where 400 children attend. While we were there, it was evident that they needed quite a bit, but when we asked what they needed most, they said PENS and NOTEBOOKS to write in. So we've connected with one of the guides who goes there regularly to see what we can do to get them supplies. If you're interested in helping, we're taking donations of pens, notebooks, and money to get them all there for the children. We've activated the Paypal Donations button on the travelpod to be sure any help you can give will be recorded and MUCH appreciated by the school.
Living side by side with the Maasai tribe was an unbelievable experience! Most people come to Africa and do a safari from the comfort of a lodge and nice Land Rover 4x4's. While that is also an amazing experience, getting to spend time in the camp of these tribal men and women was an experience I will never forget.
They are a very poor group of people financially speaking, but are also very rich in many ways we might never imagine or begin to understand. While we spent time with them we began to understand some of the basic needs that they do without. Water is scarce, pens and paper for school children are a luxury item... Before Lisa and I left we completely unpacked our two large backpacks and took out anything we could spare to leave with them. What we had in those backpacks were more than several families had combined.
After going through our gear and clothes we ended up leaving them with sheets, blankets, t-shirts, shorts, hats, and even my Medco fleece (and those who know me know I LOVE my Medco fleece!). We now had MUCH lighter backpacks!
As Lisa mentioned above we are trying to come up with some way to provide additional supplies to the Maasai. We would like to focus on pens, pencils, and paper for the school children. We have set up the Paypal link for anyone who might be interested in monetary donations, BUT anyone who works for a company that would like to donate pens, papers, etc with the company logo on it are also welcome to send those to us and we will get them to the Maasai. Please just shoot me an email and I will provide some direction on how to get those things sent to an address in the US where I will arrange it to be mailed to the contact we have in Kenya.
As I said, it was an amazing and humbling experience to spend time with the tribe.
I hope all my friends and family are well! Take care of yourselves and be good!