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January 2005

Endulen Diary
Vol. 20, #1
January, 2005

Osotwa Maasai Education program on track for 2005…

This year of 2005 we are sponsoring 39 Maasai girls and 24 Maasai boys in secondary (high schools) and technical schools throughout Northern Tanzania. The technical schools include computer science and animal husbandry schools. Also, we have accepted 17 Maasai boys and girls to participate in our one year prep school program (pre-form I) for this year. Our Osotwa Prep School is located here in Endulen on the mission compound.

The difficult life a bride…

When a man comes to the village of his father-in-law to take away his young new bride to his village she must not cross over sticks or bits of bone lying on the path. It is said that such things may have been put in her path to put a spell on her so she would not become pregnant. She must travel very slowly; in this way she shows how sorry she is to be leaving the village of her mother. Her husband often will promise her a goat or a sheep if she will agree to walk a little faster. She must not look back, because it is said that once a certain girl looked back toward the village of her mother and turned to stone. In Ngorongoro District a stone is still pointed to as an authenticated instance. The place is called Eselenkei, “the Maiden

Fog…

The fog at Ngorongoro these days is dense. This is especially so in the early mornings, but at times it can last the whole day. This is the time of mist and fog in the highlands; Ngorongoro is about eight thousand feet. My morning treks to the villages are frequently filled with apprehension, since I literally have little idea of where I’m going to end up when I start out from the center of Makorumba, not far from Ngorongoro Crater. The day before yesterday my destination was a village in which I was to hold discussions. I had been to the village once before, so had an idea of which paths to take. After an hour of walking, I realized I was hopelessly lost, although still on a clearly defined path. I couldn’t see more than a cow’s length in front of me and the country was undulating hill country covered with short grass and stunted thorn bush. Realizing a path as clearly defined and as well used as the one I was on, must go somewhere and as likely as not to a Maasai village, I kept followed it for another three quarters of an hour. Then to my immense relief, since by that time I was very tired as well as very lost, I heard the lowing of a couple of cows and the voices of children just ahead. Presently out of the fog became visible the high circular log stockade common in the Ngorongoro area. Through the wide high doorway I could see the familiar squat rectangular shape of a dung plastered Maasai house dimly through the soupy fog. I knew right away that this was not the place I had set out for, but was very thankful to be there anyway. The people received me with a surprised welcome and a big gourd of curdled milk. Both of which I was happy to get. I say a surprised welcome since I was a complete stranger to them. They set me on a new path in a slightly different direction and off I went again through the still dense fog. After about a half an hour, the village I was looking for loomed out of the murk. There I was received by the elder of the village and his numerous wives and children; they were very surprised to see me, saying that they thought only crazy Maasai ventured out in such weather. I was given a big tin mug of tea and shared a heaping plated of fried meat and fat with the old man.

Till next month…

Ned

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