Travel, Kenya Diaries

Kenya Diaries Part VIII - Nature Safari in the Loita Plains

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DECEMBER 26

So earlier I commented on how well behaved the kids are here. It makes sense - they have a very strong structure for different roles amongst the age groups. But even more effective - and some people might disagree - is straight up hitting people with sticks.

I am a HUGE proponent of hitting people with sticks. 

We're driving back from Narok and suddenly our guide swerves into the oncoming lane, pulls up next to a man who is stumbling around, takes out his traditional 'general purpose stick' and whacks the man with it. I was like HOLY SHIT HE JUST HIT THAT GUY WITH A STICK!

When asked his reason:

"He's a drunk."

Good enough for me. 

After that moment Jed developed a sudden interest in getting himself a traditional general-purpose Maasai stick as a working souvenir. But somehow I don't think that he could pull off the whole 'I'm your elder, you better listen to me' with the Germans.

NATURE WALK

We pulled up near a hill close to the camp and met our walking safari guides: Joe and one of David's brothers. The name 'broken ear' stands out because of his stretched earlobes, but I don't remember his real name - however, he was very warrior-like and looked ready to protect us with his sharp knife and spear.

We didn't see many animals, just a gazelle and a wildebeest, but we saw lots of evidence of animals.  

The bad part of this whole walking safari was that bubbie ended up sticking herself with a thorny plant. I am not talking about little thorns, either... I am talking about 10cm long hard thorns that could double as poison arrow tips if one were so inclined. Bubbie got picked up in the land cruiser, and we continued with our walk.

Just after that we saw a herd of goats. One of the goats had just given birth moments before, the calf was trying to stand and nurse and the rest of the herd was moving on. Small boys (who tend the goats) will sometimes carry the baby goats around until they can keep up with the herd.

LATER

After our walk, Jed and I spent the afternoon talking with David and Merry about their school compound and how we could potentially help by making a masterplan and looking for some alternatives to conventional building construction (parts of which are prohibitively expensive, like concrete, and are also harmful to the environment). At the moment we feel a bit crazy but on the other hand, it's the kind of project that we are super interested in and chances like this don't come along every day. 

Before dinner we sat around the fire and roasted some marshmallows (possibly Morani's first time?) and some of the young men from David's village came to dance with us and say goodbye. Jed, Greg and I danced with them but I'm not sure how well we did. David told us about traditional Maasai culture - the different age group sets and experiences you have to go through before you can be a warrior.

Tomorrow we head out to the Maasai Mara conservation area, I'm very much looking forward to seeing some cheetahs there!