My name is not Mzunga!!!!

Posted: 20/08/2011 in Africa

Masai Boy

Tonight we stayed on a snake farm, what a fun place to stay hey?! Funnily enough the snake farm also has a small clinic onsite to treat many things but mostly snake bites. Fantastic, so I’m guessing the enclosures are really secure and the snakes rarely get out. Yep, fills me with confidence. Of course I realise the snakes are there in order to make anti venom and the clinic is there because snake bites are very common if Africa not because the snakes escape their enclosures but still it doesn’t fill me with confidence. The farm also houses a Masai village which is actually just a tourist set up. Their “houses” are actually shops filled with all sorts of African curios. One of the warriors however, takes us out through the fields to an actual Masai village and as we approach at least 15 children come running out shouting “mzunga, mzunga” meaning white person. It’s a shout you get used to. The kids all around Kenya and Tanzania get to know the overland trucks and come running from wherever they are shouting mzunga at the top of their lungs and waving. Sometimes you hear them but have no idea where they actually are and can’t wave.

We arrive at the village and its a kid photo fest. They are so exuberant, so joyful and so very photogenic but of course every picture you take they want to look at so it becomes very labour intensive to just to get that one good shot. Then they want to start taking shots as well and it’s a scary thing to let a 7 year old play with your very expensive camera. Actually make that ten 5-10 year olds that want to play with your camera. Of course I’m still holding on to it but they are pushing all sorts of buttons. Actually they’ve probably figured out more than i have of how to use it. I went to try my hand at pounding some corn and come back to find the Masai warrior using my camera to take photos. Yeh I know he has a mobile phone and probably drives a car (some of the Masai wear their traditional outfits but with Nike sneakers!) but it still looks funny. Old meets new. Anyway the kids follow you everywhere wanting you to take a photo then wanting to see it then wanting to take a photo. How can you not let them, they are so excited and even more so when they realise they have taken the photo themselves. Kids are kids no matter where they live and in what circumstances. They love to play, they are affectionate, they love to be held and the smallest thing can make them happy or break their spirit.

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