This afternoon, we had an unplanned stop on our journey out to the elementary school. We were fortunate to meet two “morani”, young Masai warriors. They did not speak English, but luckily we had Joseph and Samuel (Masai men who work at the college) with us and they were able to translate. In the process of translating, I found out that one of them had asked Joseph for my hand in marriage in exchange for 30 cattle, which is equivalent to about $48,000 US dollars...That's how their arranged marriage processes take place for the most part. Talk about cultural relationship differences!
The morani were fascinated by my hair. Since their strands of hair are made of of threads, they thought mine was fake as well. They asked if they could touch it, and when they did, they tugged on it aggressively. Since they didn’t think it was real, they weren't aware that pulling it would hurt. It was a pretty comical moment, and very surreal to realize they didn’t understand the concept of long hair. They also allowed me to look at their threaded hair.
The morani also gave me a gift. Here is a picture of me receiving the handmade beaded necklace. It was an honor to receive a piece of jewelry off his own neck!
Here is my dad teaching the morani how to play baseball. It was so majestic watching them encounter baseball for the first time. Below is a picture of them with the "Gear for Goal" sign, helping to spread the word about baseball in Kenya!
When we arrived at the school, the children eagerly crowded around the truck and sat in awe as we stepped out. “Jambo! Jambo!” they were yelling. I have never felt so welcomed as I did at the elementary school. These kids don't have much so when you make an effort to visit them at their school, it means the world to them.
We brought baseball equipment with us to start teaching the young children how to play. As a part of my dad’s charity project “Gear for Goals” he supplies sports equipment to Kenyan children and organizes practices and lessons for them. The students are planning to form a team and play other local schools. Today was just the start of a wonderful opportunity for these kids!
While the boys played baseball, I used my wireless speaker to play music and danced with the girls. The sheer joy that radiated from them and the squeals of laughter that echoed as we danced were heartwarming. It was a gift and a blessing to be able to experience this. Words can’t capture how touching it was.
The students love to have their picture taken. Many of them have never seen themselves in a mirror before, so you can only imagine their reaction when they were able to see themselves on a camera screen.
On our way home from the school, we stopped at one of Joseph’s friends’ homes. The family lives in a “manyatta”, a home made from cow dung. As we approached the hut, flies swarmed us and there was a putrid smell. A little girl greeted us. Here is a picture of her. It broke my heart to see her angelic face infested with flies. She didn’t seem to notice or mind them at all though. As her siblings approached, I saw that they too were covered in flies. Again, none of them noticed or cared. Below is a picture of her and her siblings with the new balls I gave them. They were beyond grateful for such a small gift.
The woman of the house was busy building a new “manyatta” and invited us inside to see her progress. The hut has two rooms and a narrow hallway. To the left is a picture of me with the “moseé”, or man of the house, in his room. Of course it’s very dark inside because the “manyattas” have no windows and certainly no electricity for lighting. The “mozeé” has his own room, while the women and her six children all sleep in another.
Saw some ostriches while we were out driving today!