As we left the city, I began to see why we were in Land Rovers instead of our usual
buses. The “roads” outside the city rank somewhere between Louisiana highways and an endless stretch of randomly placed open graves for motorists to die in. Still, we opened the safari hatch and, with great effort, stood looking out over a vast African plain with blurry black mountains in the distance.
The Maasai people are of the most well known African tribes, largely because of the their lack of western influence. They are not even influenced by other Kenyans. Having a long heritage of feared warriors, they have held on tight to their rich culture and traditions, even those we would consider barbaric or worse.
Our day with the tribe included goat milking, goat herding, goat eating, collecting goat waste on goat skins to clean goat pens, turning black African soil in the garden, and intimately experiencing the Maasai culture in ways few outsiders will ever experience. They adorned us with there iconic jewelry, sang for us in their mother tongue, and danced for us as only the Maasai women can. These beautiful people, that most will only see in a National Geographic magazine, welcomed us into their homes and lives.
But amidst all this beauty lies extreme poverty. Many in the Maasai land still live without a continuous water supply, basic knowledge of hygiene and biology, hope, or any idea that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came down from heaven to conquer the sins of the world. The work Compassion International is doing in this tribe cannot be understated. They are giving children and there families education and opportunities that they absolutely would not have had otherwise. One of the Kenyan Leadership Development Students, Selena, is a prime example of this. She was raised in the same huts (made of sticks and coated with cow dung) that these children live in today and is now graduating from college with a wildlife management degree. She will begin working in the National Wildlife Reserve system soon, protecting the land she loves. Her family is forever released from poverty. I plan on asking her many more questions about the Maasai warriors before I leave, I am completely fascinated.