Merry Christmas! And The Gift Of Dependancy

The tale of my Christmas visit to Peter and Debra; yes folks this is pure gold: Peter and Debra Become Guest Dependant

My Christmas vacation in Kibaya, a town between the cities of Dodoma and Arusha, has been spent relaxing;

with cats, on the verandah;

birdwatching;

visiting a Masai village, where we

compared Western toilet paper to Masai toilet paper – the fuzziest, softest tree leaves around,

commiserated with the head of the family,

tried on traditional Masai jewelery (check out Peter and Debra’s blog, above, for a picture of me trying it on),

admired the lovely children,

and of course, back at the ranch, exchanged gifts and had Christmas breakfast!

The Masai are fascinating people, whom I will perhaps blog about at a later date in more detail. To start, having spent an entire day at their compound, they did not once ask for money. In fact, they downright turned it down when I tried to buy jewelery from them (I thought they were trying to sell it to me, but apparently not!). Further, they feed their families (read: children) well with diets high in protein, and take excellent care of their livestock. However, I have just been informed that not only can Masai men have as many wives as their please, but they can also share wives, as in when a wife marries into a family, all the brothers of the husband can also come visiting to her hut at night. Debra recommended a few books about the Masai* that I will try and find someday.

This has been a great Christmas, a great break from worrying about my Kiswahili apart from market visits, a chance to get a bit of a tan, thanks to the enclosed verandah, and some quality time with fellow Canadians. Oh, and if you ever get a chance, check out this British TV comedy show called Gavin and Stacey. We’ve been on a marathon of it and have started referring to the characters like they’re our friends. Creepy, but satisfying.

* The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior by Tepilit Ole Saitoti (really worth it, according to Debra) and My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah by Robin Wiszowaty (somewhat worth it)

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