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