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A Memorable Visit to the Maasai

January 23, 2016

A two-hour drive (plus a stop for lunch) brought us to a Maasai village, though not without incident, as one of our jeeps got mired in the mud.  Stuck in the Mud.jpgAfter much consultation among the drivers and the tribesmen, it was successfully extracted, and we walked on to the village, where we met the schoolmaster, visited the classroom, and watched the kids play soccer. Though they’re accustomed to being photographed, the kids still delighted in seeing their pictures onscreen.

 

 

Continuing on to the village, we passed the mud and wattle huts where the villagers live, and were invited inside to have a look. They were very small, windowless, hot and aromatic, and were arranged in a circle around the courtyard.  In the center, the women had displayed their handcrafted jewelry and weavings, urging us to buy (with US dollars, of course). The tribe’s  cattle also live among the people.

Maasai Hut

Many Maasai still follow traditional customs, the men wearing draped blankets (usually red plaid), and the women colorful robes complimented by elaborate necklaces and huge dangly earrings. They treated us to a dance (I call it the jump dance, but am sure it must have another name), where the men sang, yipped and whistled, and in turn jumped straight into the air, while the women sang their own discordant tune while swaying to and fro.

Bidding the tribe farewell and asante sana (thank you very much), we caravanned on to the Ngorongoro Crater, to spend the next two nights. En route we made a brief stop for park passes and encountered a bunch of baboons in the parking lot.

Baboon     Baby Baboon

Our first look at the crater gave perspective to its massive size, a nine-mile wide expanse of flat, open grassland, forest and lakes surrounded by a ring of extinct volcanos. From this viewpoint we could see no animals, but our leader Daniel assured us we would see plenty the next day.

Crater 1st Look.jpg

From the intense heat and humidity at the Maasai village, it was refreshing to reach the Sopa Lodge, perched near the top of the crater at an altitude of about 8000 feet. Tomorrow will be “wheels up” at 6 a.m. for our first game drive.

One Comment
  1. Karen Dugan permalink

    Wonderful commentary and photos!

    Like

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