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SAFARI REPORT - PART 2 - DH ENDS THE DROUGHT

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Well, it appears I mis-stated as I never did do any billable work – only housework. Then when I returned to my office ostensibly to work for pay, the siren call of the computer and Foders lured me to procrastinate. So where were we…..

SINYA WILDLIFE CONVERSANCY CONTINUED- DH DANCES MAASAI. As our camp was located on Maasai land, we had a local Maasai warrior, Lucas, riding with us for 3 days. Lucas told us about his culture and took us to visit a Maasai home, which resembles an igloo made of cattle dung, mud and ashes, for those of you who haven’t been to TZ yet or watched discovery channel. The inside is very dark with a fire in the middle; yet even with the heat, it was not oppressively hot inside. Very few personal belongings – a couple of mugs and plates. As they live with no electricity and no running water; we’d observe them gathering water from muddy puddles and waterholes. Apparently, their digestive systems have evolved and adapted to survive without pristine water. Their wealth and status is displayed by the number of cattle owned, and from our observations, women are valued one step below cattle in the pecking order. The more cattle a man has, the more wives he can acquire. According to Lucas, a male Maasai visitor is permitted to sleep with another man’s wife if he’s not home. The visitor just has to leave his spear outside the door to indicate he’s there – kinda like hanging a tie on the doorknob in a frat house. We never did figure out exactly what men do as it appears the women perform all the work, including construction of the homes. As most of you know, their ritual for a young person to pass from childhood to adulthood is a little more rigorous than having a confirmation or bar mitzvah. UNanaesthetized male and female circumcision; plus it’s unacceptable to display any evidence of pain or you’ll shame your family! Barbaric to our western sensibilities, but when the topic was discussed over dinner, the two guides present sided with the Maasai right to choose to continue their own traditions – although, I don’t believe these young women have much choice.

As part of our crash course in maasai culture DH was induced into taking part in a traditional male dance. We were taken to an overlook for a view of sunet when suddenly about a dozen giggling massai “warriors” ambushed us and two other couples. They dressed the men in red blankets and pulled them into a dance circle. The sight of DH garbed in his red plaid blanket, waving his spear while he danced the sunset dance and then the rain dance was worth every penny spent of the trip.

Our last night at Sinya it drizzled, a harbinger of nights to come! Rain for the first time in months - coincidence? I like to think DH’s dancing skills had something to do with it. Our last morning at Sinya Abraham permitted us to sleep in til the sun was up. Life was good! We awoke to hot coffee served by a Maasai and a view of sunrise over Kilimanjaro from the bed. Life was great!

Again, to be continued after I return a couple of business calls.

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