“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Thursday, 6 January 2011

2 weeks to go!

Having read both the books I bought for the trip already, I recently ordered a few more (don't you just love Amazon's secondhand bookshop). When I got home from work last night there was "Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna" waiting for me. Excellent. I finished 'Tick Bite Fever' on Tuesday night which is the story of a white man growing up in 1970's Kenya, so I was eager to get started on this new book which is the story of a lad called Joseph who also grew up in 1970's Kenya, the difference being that Joseph is a Maasai warrior (Lemasolai is his Maasai name) and the book tells about his life roaming the open plains with his cattle and his family. I devoured it in 2 hours flat! What an incredible guy and what incredible people the Maasai are. Cattle are their life and cow's milk and blood their staple diet. Of the hundreds of cattle in their herd, the Maasai can identify each and every cow by name and family. The book gave a great insight into their world, their culture, beliefs and values. The one that stood out the most was that of the 'pinching man'. Every Maasai village has one and it's the person that naughtly or disrespectful children are sent to. A man they fear from a very young age, a man who is permitted to pinch as hard or as many times as befits the crime to teach young Maasai the lessons they need to learn. According to Lemasolai, no Maasai ever forgets their first session with the pinching man!

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