Vol. 23, #7
My name is Naisiay Theresia Gabriel Kasiaro, a Maasai from the district of Ngorongoro and the village of Endulen. I want to tell the story of how I came about and how I grew up. After I was born my mother soon left me and my four brothers and sisters, returning home to her father and mother near Narok in Kenya. The younger wife of my father took us in and care for us. We lived with her for some time until my father began to realize all was not well and we were not being looked after as well as the rest of the children of the younger co-wife of my mother. At that point, my father split us up, two of us going to our grandmother and the other two, including me, staying with the younger wife of my father. I continued to live with her and to have a lot of trouble, but my father took pains to look after me as well as he could and gave me heart to go on because of his special care for me. One day I ran away to the village of my grandmother and stayed with her because she loved us and didnt treat us differently than the other children. She continued to love and care for all of us in the same way.
One day father Ned was visiting our village. We all liked him because he tried to help everybody and treated everyone equally. He became a friend of all of us in the village starting with the elders even to the smallest child. That was the year, 1986, that I finished grade seven and Father Ned talked to me and my father about my continuing my schooling. I was very happy about this possibility and readily agreed. My father had no objection to my going on with school. This was something very unusual at the time. Most fathers wanted to marry their daughters off quickly to get as many cattle as possible. I went to study at Ngarenarok technical school for a year in 1987 and then went on to study at Simanjiro Animal Husbandry school at Emboreet in central Maasai. That was in 1988. During my years at Emboreet, my father became ill and was not showing signs of much improvement. He died in 1991. Fr. Ned continued to take care of me and I was able to complete my studies at Simanjiro and my secondary education also. I reached the age of marriage and was married and became pregnant. It was a difficult time and I was often sick. Fr. Ned took care of me and often took me to the hospital. Finally, I successfully gave birth at Endulen and then returned to the village of my husband. I was raised by Fr. Ned more than my own parents and he cared for me as well as they could have. I then lived for seven relatively peaceful years with my husband. Then things began to go bad between us and we often fought about things. Things got so bad as time went on that I began to wish that I never had gotten married. My love for my little girl and my determination to take good care of her is what kept me going during that very difficult time.
I returned with my little girl, Andi, to Endulen and Fr. Ned. We stayed at the mission and Andi began primary school. Now just in the past two weeks, Fr. Ned has been able to find a place for me at Arusha Teacher Training College. I have now begun my preparation to become a teacher.
I am thankful for this opportunity to tell my story. I would like to give Maasai girls like myself encouragement. They should not give up their aspirations to get an education. Even when their parents object and refused to help with their education, there may always be a way through. As a teacher in Maasai country, I want to help Maasai girls in every way that I can. I want to give them the idea that there can be more to life that gathering firewood, taking the donkeys for water and having babies. They can have goals to help their village and our Maasai people by going to school and becoming teachers, nurses, and village leaders.
Till next month,