Most of our Arusha Work the World students meet Lewis the Maasai at one point or another. A real character, Lewis is the guide on all of our Maasai village healthcare experiences (it is his home town), as well as working with a local company to provide guided trips in the Arusha area.
Lewis is going to be writing his own blog on this site, so you will be able to read about all of his experiences with students. To start him off and introduce us to his world, which of course is very different to the western world, I asked him if he could talk about some of the main things students ask him about on the Maasai Village Healthcare experience.
One of the things students are most interested in is why we make animal sacrifices. To Maasai men "sacrifice" is a very a secret and an important event. It is always done at a special holy place outside the village where only people involved in the sacrifice event meet. The place is called Orpul, and when students are here I take them to the site and explain all about the sacrifice and why it is a holistic place and also a healthcare centre.
Often when students are here we have a sacrifice. Some students do not want to be involved but most find it very interesting. Some also help us to skin the animal. For a Maasai the best part is the chance to taste the raw blood and kidney - it is very special - and if a student is happy to try it we are happy to offer some. I think this is very different to your culture!
Another popular interest is how in Maasai culture men share wives.... and there is no fight! Simply stick your spear outside the house and continue! Students want to know what happens when the husband comes back home and how it is possible to share wives in the Maasai huts. I can explain to them what the spear means and what the Maasai women and men say about sharing and about diseases like HIV.
Many of the students will have seen the Maasai dancing - it is very famous of our tribe. ‘Esoto’ is one of the most famous. It brings together Morani (boys who have been circumcised), mamas and girls. The purpose for these parties is for them all to meet and dance to attract each other. This is mostly done by the men jumping high to attract women, which students say is very different to the nightclub at their home! I explain a bit more about what happens during Esoto and how to select the best partner, why it is performed and where, then we ask students if they want to join in. Maybe they would like to pick up a Maasai partner?! Maybe you would!