Or, three reasons why I’d make a terrible Maasai.
In Tanzania we had the great privilege of being welcomed into a Maasai boma, or village, where we learned about the Maasai culture and spent time talking (through a translator) with a villager in one of their tiny mud huts. And by tiny, I mean maybe 50 square feet, with two animal-hide beds and one or two small (6″ by 6″) windows to let in a ray of light.
The Maasai way of life, which is still semi-nomadic and extremely traditional, involves a diet of mostly the milk, blood, and meat they get from their herds of goats and cows.
Despite being a vegetarian/aspiring vegan at home, when I travel I sample whatever the locals eat, but you have to know that THANK GOD no generous Maasai villager offered me lunch. Especially since I’m pretty sure vomiting is bad form when visiting. 🙂
It was a great time, even though it was just after the hut visit that my body decided to reject my malaria meds and I ended up on the ground by the Land Rover, trying desperately not to vomit and/or pass out. (Bad form, Kahler!)
Lastly, circumcision for both men and women is a major part of the ritual that marks the shift from childhood to adulthood – without anesthetic, no less – but since female circumcision has dire physical ramifications, the Tanzanian government is starting to put pressure on the Maasai to stop the practice for women. The villager we spoke with said it was becoming less common, though progress was slow, and I hope the government keeps the pressure on to stop this barbaric practice.
(Not that male circumcision is any picnic! It’s incredibly painful! But at least the wound heals and men can go on to have healthy, happy sex lives. Not so for the women.)
Onto a lighter topic. I’ve been thinking I need to start taking better care of my email subscribers, so starting next week, instead of just an email saying there’s a new blog post up, I’ll share stories and photos, as well as personal development info and exercises that won’t appear on the blog.
In other words, bonus goodness for sharing your email with me! Yay! I hope you enjoy it. (And if you’re not already a subscriber, sign up in the box on the right. I’ll be sending out more exclusive subscriber bonuses this summer.)
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