Following our hiking adventures up to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, we visited the tribal community known as “boma” of the Masai culture. This was not a medical mission.
African Environments builds safari tent camps in conservancy areas of Tanzania in cooperation with the Masai. We were fortunate to meet the current chief’s son currently on vacation. His older brother is in the USA studying medicine. His friends have never left the Boma area. In fact most of his friends are brothers or cousins as his father has 8 wives.
The Boma chief (who is elected by the elders) sends his son to school and he is forced to remove his large earlobe earrings while school is in session. The son must wear a western uniform and study subjects normal for secondary school. Then he returns to the “Boma” and lives with his extended family.
We were treated to a “coming of Age” ceremony and dances by the Masai teenage boys with girls ages 7- 11 years chanting the music.
The Masai boys pride themselves on jumping with legs extended down. They surely jump higher than the 1 foot I accomplished on the top of Kibo Peak. (see other posts “My Jump on Mt. Kilimanjaro with Force”) Notice their focused faces and contentment being passionate about their lives.
This tribe is pastoral; the more cows a man accumulates, the more wealthy he is. The more flies that attend to the village means their is an abundance of milk from goats and cows, again indicating wealth. The children tolerate these annoying flies 24/7. Those of us living in concrete and tar cities with 4 walls of stucco and brick would never allow a barnyard atmosphere INDOORS but that is the way of life of these families.
The girls’ lives are committed to carrying for the little children carrying them on their backs, entertaining them and playing with the goats. The women prepare food, cook on open wood fires and keep their individual hut clean for when the husband wishes to visit. The Masai tribal community is a fascinating culture.
Mending Kids would service this Masai tribal community at a hospital in Arusha but probably not under Mending 100 Hearts as we found no children suffering congenital heart birth defects in this boma.