Vol. 19, #2
Three Maasai warriors raided a Maasai cattle camp and made off with a herd of a hundred cattle. The alarm was raised and a large party of Maasai warriors caught up with the stolen herd near Oldupai Gorge. One raider was caught and his two companions initially got away but were later captured. The culprit’s families will be heavily fined and the thieves will do significant jail time.
A big meeting was held by the Ngorongoro conservation authority with the Maasai of the area. Hundreds of Maasai gathered for the “enkigwena”. It was announced that only Maasai are allowed to cultivate and their plots will be carefully measured, one acre for each family. As in other years, the people must cultivate by hand, no oxen or tractors are allowed. This is to help keep the size of the plots under control. The non-Maasai of Endulen, teachers, hospital workers, etc. were not pleased with the decision. Another thing talked about in the meeting was the building a second secondary school here in the Ngorongoro Conservation area. It has not been decided where it will be built.
Food help was promised by Conservation, corn at the equivalent price of five American cents for two pounds. This will be a tremendous help if it materializes. It is now about forty American cents for two pounds at the local shops.
An area some 4 miles North of Endulen village has seen repeated attacks by lions on the herds of cattle there. It has become such a problem that the warriors herding the cattle have banded together to graze their cattle together in one large herd that could be better protected by the presence of many warriors. A lion attacked a cow on the periphery of this herd yesterday. One of the young warriors got a spear into the lion, but was mauled in the process, badly bitten on his thigh. He is in the hospital doing well. The lion made good his escape.
A boy of about seven years was drowned this morning as he went to draw water at the local spring. Rain water had collected in a deep hole by the side of the path and the boy slipped and fell into the hole as he passed on the way to the spring. As you can imagine, the family is devastated.
The rains have come and everything is growing like mad. Now new problems have emerged. Elephants and Buffalo, among others are attacking the corn and bean plots of the local Maasai. Most people are forced to stay up all night to chase away wild pigs, gazelle, buff and tuskers. Elephants are not easily intimidated, and a number of people have been threatened with some seriously big flapping ears.
Our OSOTUA Maasai Education program has 39 Maasai young people in various secondary schools (high schools) this year; 23 of them are girls. Our OSOTUA Prep School (One year of English and Math) here on the mission has 20 Maasai students, 3 of the girls. The girls are as hard to pry loose as ever.
Maasai Proverb of the month:
“Tiika enkawuo, miik enkong’u”
Hang up the bow, don’t hang up the eye.
(Used when a stranger comes to visit)
Till next month… Ned