For my previous posts on this trip:
On Day 4, we visited a Maasai community in the remote area near Athi River.
There are over 40 tribes in Kenya. The Maasai is seen to be the most recognised tribe there. They live in the southern parts of Kenya and in the northern part of Tanzania.
It was Sunday and we were invited to attend a Maasai Christian church service in this rural area.
We were told beforehand that some African church services could run for 5 hours and sometimes the music could get very very loud, so we should prepare ourselves for it. In other words, it may be a good idea to try not to sit too close to the speakers or to bring a pair of earplugs with you in case it starts causing discomfort and pain in the ears.
The church service was very well constructed. We sang and danced along the joyful Maasai worship music, listened to the passionate speeches given by the pastor and the youth speakers respectively and interacted with each other during the service. These were all pleasurable moments of the visit.
This day was also the day Christine and David, an elderly couple from my team, got to meet their sponsored child Akiru for the first time. They were reunited during the church service.
So it turns out, the service lasted about 3 hours, it was a delightful experience and it did not seem that long at all.
The lady with the interesting earrings and the colourful necklaces made of beads in the picture above is one of the elders in this Maasai community.
After the service, each of us from our team was presented with a piece of beaded jewellery as a gift by the members of the church. It was quite a memorable present.
After lunch, we divided into small groups for home visits.
Together with an interpreter, we visited a local Maasai family.
My first impression was that the homes in the rural areas seem to be more spacious and the living conditions did not seem so bad compare to those in poor suburban areas.
However, as I got to learn about the challenges the people are facing, I realised that they aren’t any better off because where they live does not have water or electricity supply, medical access is also limited, and they have fewer opportunities for employment, education, etc.
Having said that, what I found the most amazing attribute of these people was their contentment and optimism about life.
I felt very honoured to be invited to visit their warm, lovely home.
Before attending the church service/home visits…
Today was the only day we did not have to get up fairly early in the morning, however, the night before we were told that there would be nature walks available for anyone to join after sunrise and in the late afternoon.
Though I love sleeping very very much, especially the art of sleeping in appeals to me every weekend, an adventurer and an animal lover like me definitely would not pass up the opportunity to see animals living the wild. Especially while we were in Africa! Who wouldn’t want to see some wildebeests? They are native to Africa! It gets me excited just by talking about it.
So a few of us, 5 girls and a guy (obviously girls were more adventurous in this group), forwent (yes, it’s a real word!) our only chance to sleep-in and got up before sunrise, which was even earlier than any other days during this trip, together we followed a ranger and went on a walking safari.
Though the ranger was carrying a shotgun, he said that there are no dangerous animals such as lions in that area.
We didn’t get to see all the animals we expected to see in the morning, so most of us also joined the late afternoon walking tour. There we actually saw quite a few wild animals up-close, such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes, gazelles, etc.
I was very glad that I saw some wildebeests here, because later on when I travelled to Maasai Mara, they were all already migrated to Serengeti and I didn’t get to see a single one out there in the plains.
“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds.
And God saw that it was good.”
***End of Day 4***