Milk, Blood, Meat

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Milk, Blood, Meat

One of the villagers outside the boma walls.

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It’s tradition to welcome visitors with a dance and song, and then you’re asked to come inside the boma.

Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat

The dancing continued, and it was beautiful to watch.

Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat

Getting the visitors to dance is part of the welcome, and here’s Mom getting a necklace loan before she went up with the group.

Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat  Milk, Blood, Meat

Hanging out after the dance.

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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6 Comments

  1. Deborah Dash June 21, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    I’m no vegetarian. Nothing like a good steak IMO. I like milk as well. Although I’d balk at the blood. And I prefer my meat cooked, TYVM.

    I can’t get over the colors of their garments. So saturated and brilliant! No earth tones! I love that stuff!

    It looks like the necklaces are made of beads of some sort. Am I correct? What are they strung on?

    Finally, and no disrespect meant here, every time I hear mention of the Maasai, I think of this “Far Side” comic:
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/bf/2a/3e/bf2a3e87e214ca79b6fcee2eae9d13de.jpg

    • deonne June 21, 2017 at 10:24 am #

      Deborah – I love the bright colors, too! They’re everywhere in Tanzania, and now that I’m home I’ve started wearing more color. It’s inspiring and fun. Yes, those necklaces are beaded and strung on wire, so they’re stiff. I bought placemats that have a similar look, only they’re backed by leather. Gorgeous. And no disrespect taken, I love The Far Side! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Emilie Bardaman June 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    Wow! Time in a village. And to be greeted by the dancers.
    The people are so very beautiful! Thanks for the photos.

    • deonne June 21, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

      Emilie – I know! It was a wonderful experience, and one I’m especially grateful for.

  3. Ron Hagg June 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    wow! a trip of a lifetime.

    • deonne June 29, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

      Ron – It really was. I’m already plotting to get back there!

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