I woke up at 6:30 to pack up my room for the last time. We headed off to Monduli Cultural Center. I drove with Joseph because I wanted to save my last drive for my favorite driver Abdul. We got to the Cultural Center and left for a three hour hike. I am not a hiker, but really enjoyed the walk (except for sweating like a man). We got to walk inside a traditional Maasai hut and met a family. The house was unbearably hot and smoky. About an hour into our hike two girls got really sick and had to be picked up by one of the safari drivers. As we continued on our walk, I saw the Maasai women gather around Lauren rub her stomach and pray over her. Abdul ended up taking her and Courtney (who was also sick) back to Arusha, so I was unable to drive back with him L. We continued on our walk for two hours. It was beautiful. We were able to see the Great Rift Valley. Once we got back, we had lunch…buttery noodles! We were all pretty excited about that.
After lunch, we played soccer with some of the kids and hung around until Simon (our Maasai stud tour guide) took us to the Maasai market. Along the way, Morgan asked Simon about the circular burn marks on many Maasai faces. He said they burn off skin diseases, but the burn patterns almost look like ritual markings. We are going to ask our Swahili teacher. Simon also told us about Maasai weddings because we passed a bride. She wore a white beaded collar. Men have to have 15 cows in order to marry a woman (Simon only has 2).
The market was very different than the Maasai market in Arusha. It had more products that people needed like rice, shoes, and food rather than jewelry and beaded work. Many children circled around us and tried to take our money. Some people even tried to take our jewelry off our hands. We got to see a Maasai bbq. It was sick. There were flies on every piece of meat. I also got to see goat heads.
After the market, we had dinner. I accidently ate goat. It was so chewy and gross. Then, we had a camp fire and one driver gave us all nick names. Some of our nick names were Teacher, mine was Momma, Sarah Palin, Monica Lewinsky, etc. We had to use the squatty potty and get into bed because it started raining. It wouldn’t be camping in Africa if there wasn’t rain. Sarah and I shared a tent again. We managed to let every insect in the area in our tent. We woke up around midnight freezing. Shortly after, we awoke again to a dog barking like crazy next to our tent. We slept restlessly until 6 when we woke up for our breakfast and our hike up the mountain. At breakfast we had delicious biscuits (they tasted like cookies) and PEANUT BUTTER TOAST!
We then started off on our four to five hour hike up the mountain. It was pretty chilly. After about an hour and a half of hiking up my roommate tripped over a root and fell to her knees. She popped her knee out of place. She needs surgery to repair the muscle around it, so she was in a lot of pain. We then had to climb steep rocks and her pain got worse. Then, we came a super steep incline. She needed to stop and started crying. We let the group go ahead and Paige and I stayed back. We made it up the steep hill with her crying the whole time, so we decided to stop and rest. Her pain got worse, so we started the slow walk back to the car. It was actually kind of nice stopping because clouds surrounded the mountain where we were. It was impossible to see the huts we passed two minutes earlier. On the way back, we got to talk with some of the Maasai children and took pictures.
We had to walk super slowly on our way back. We ended up getting a little lost and made it back to the trucks at exactly the same time as the group that made it all the way up the mountain. We went back to the Cultural for lunch and packed up for the drive to Arusha. Along the way, we stopped at Shanga Shanga. It is a glass art center that employs deaf and physically impaired people in the community. We got to watch jewelry be made as well as glass being blown. I got a cool present for my Mom and headed back to the Outpost. We were all so excited to shower. We were covered in mud and our shoes were wet from the hike. I can’t wait for school tomorrow! I am bringing all my students gum.
The trip was great and disappointing. I was glad I got to spend so much time with the girls in my group. On the other hand, I was really looking forward to learning about the Maasai culture, but I didn’t feel like I got to learn as much as I expected.