Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Kenya travels: A remote Masai village welcomes its first white guests

Word of an American couple’s visit attracts villagers from across the valley curious to see their white skin and smooth nylon tent.

Masai warriors herd goats on the plains of Kenya.

Finbarr O’Reily/Reuters/File

About these ads

At a dinner party I was introduced to a fascinating man whom I discovered was not only an elder of the Masai tribe, but also a student of theology at a local seminary.

The Masai are seminomads and cattle herders in East Africa who live in temporary huts made from cow dung. So to meet one of them in America, studying at a seminary, really captured my imagination.

The Masai do not believe in conventional education as we know it because their boys are raised to herd cattle and be warriors. Thanks to a mother who wanted something different for her child, Moses came to America on a scholarship from World Vision and was educated here. He went on to create a foundation to drill water wells and build schools, and returns to Africa often, where he sleeps in a mud hut less than a mile from where he was born.

I made a point of getting to know Moses, and a year later, my wife and I found ourselves stepping out of a Land Rover in the hot blowing dust of East Africa as guests of his village.

As the first white visitors to Mali Tisa, we spent a wonderful day answering questions about America while learning the oral histories and stories of the Masai. The only problem for me was the huts.

They are only about five-feet high, and I am very large. I bent myself into a pretzel to fit inside them during the day, and when it came time to turn in for the night I was pleasantly surprised to find that Moses had erected a nylon tent for my wife and me to sleep in.


Page:   1   |   2

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.