Sunday, June 27, 2010


After 12 hours on a bus thick with dust both inside and out, with one stop to eat goat stew and drink boiling hot tea and another stop to relieve ourselves behind some brush and then walk across a dry riverbed, we had arrived at the place at the end of the road. A place called Mosiro.

We had set up our tents in the dark, crawled inside and tried our best to sleep. But there was music. No it was not someone’s IPOD or other electronics, it was the Maasai. Each night at the outskirts of the camp we set up, they lit a fire and spent the night chanting. That first morning we found out that they were there to ward off the lions. Hmm?

But when we clambered out of our tents that morning, it was as if somehow on that horrible road we had crossed into paradise. Again, my mere words are so inadequate to describe this magical place.

There was this expanse of ground, dry and tan, with sparse grass dotting the landscape. A hundred feet or so away sat a huge flat-topped termite mound. I thought it was just a rock outcropping, but I was assured that it was built by termites. A young Maasai boy was herding goats through this scene. It looked almost Biblical.
The air was fresh, the sky was clearing. It felt good to just stand up and stretch. And then, I had to go to the bathroom.

The Maasai, like most native tribes around the world, just go to the bathroom wherever they are with no fan-fare or facilities or toilet paper for that matter. To accommodate us, they kindly dug a hole and then constructed their version of a porta-potty around that hole. They had built a small fence surrounding the hole and then covered that with canvas. It was adequate, I thought, and even had a sky light. No door though. Which definitely meant we utilized the buddy system. Dave’s answer to that, though, was just to call out in Swahili, “howdie” when he approached the choo.

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