Weekend in Monduli

On Saturday, we hit the road for another one of our weekend excursions. We hopped in the safari car and drove our way to the Monduli mountain range. We arrived at our camping spot for the night, dropped our tents and sleeping bags off, and headed out for our first hike. The drivers forewarned us to bring lots and lots of water, so after we filled our water bottles up we set out for our hike. Along our hike, we saw tons of Maasai children who wanted nothing more than to hold you hand and join our hike. We also ran into one kind Maasai family who invited us up into her village and even showed us around her small hut. It was crazy to see that they were used to living in the pitch black with only a dirt floor for a kitchen and a bedroom. It made me think of all the things I take for granted at home and I realized how truly blessed I am. After showing us around her hut, we were supposed to continue along with our hike, but Lauren was feeling very sick. I went over to help her and it was during this time that I started to feel a little queasy myself, probably from dehydration. So our tour guide called one of our safari drivers, Maluta to pick us up. Before we could hop into the car, however, we had to make one last trek up a tall hill to meet up with our ride. Along the way, we picked up tons of Maasai women and children who were all trying to help Lauren make it to her final destination. They were trying to rub her stomach (something that they must do to each other when they feel sick) and they were putting their arms around her for support to help her walk up the hill. When we finally made it to the car, one of the Maasai women jumped in and immediately started praying for Lauren in her native tongue, while holding her hand over her stomach. It was so amazing to see how much these women cared for Lauren, even though she had just met her five minutes before. The Maasai woman and us drove back to our camp ground and Lauren and I immediately hit our tent to take a quick nap to try and make us feel better. When I woke up, I was feeling great, but I couldn’t say the same for Lauren.
After the nap, I headed to the real Maasai market with the rest of the girls, which was so authentic and amazing. They were trading things that were needed in the villages and the homes ranging from tire shoes to spices and oils. While there was nothing I wanted to purchase for myself, it was so awesome to people watch and understand how the Maasai tribe goes about getting different goods. The only negative part about the trip was the children trying to steal all of our stuff. They would approach us and without even a please would say, “Give me money!” This is not what I was used to so I just said no and continued to walk quickly away. All in all, the market was an incredible experience and it taught me a lot about how the Maasai tribe lives.
After the market, we headed back to camp and Lauren and Courtney decided to go back to the Outpost because they were both to sick to stay the night. That night we ate dinner and hung around the campfire and then went to sleep. When we woke up bright and early in the morning we got ready for our 4 hour hike up Monduli mountain. While it was so challenging to make myself get up the steep hills, I made it to the top! It was one of my favorite accomplishments since being here. While the view from the top was ruined by the foggy sky, it was still so incredible to know that I was on the top of the mountain. When we hiked back down it was much more relaxing and it was a huge bonding time for me and all of the girls because we could finally chat and not have to save all our breath for our hike up the mountain. When we got back down, we piled back into our safari cars and drove back for a quick lunch at our campsite.
After this, we drove to a place called Shanga Shangaa, a place run by mostly deaf people who made beautiful things out of blown glass. Everything was so unique and remarkable and it was made right in front of you. We learned about what each station does ranging from necklace and ornament making to blowing glass vases and glass beads. It was so cool to see all of the work in action and then we even had the opportunity to stop in the gift shop and buy some things of our own. After our trip to Shanga Shangaa, we drove back home to the Outpost and unloaded our stuff for one last time. It’s so crazy to think that we only have one more week left here in Arusha and we are all determined to make it our best one yet!
-Chelsea I.

~ by Chelsea on May 22, 2012.

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