Already one week ago I left home and came to beautiful Kenya. It seemed like yesterday that I stepped into the plane. Or maybe I should say: only one week. But so many things happend in one week, it is insane. We have spend our time discovering the Masaai culture, which is the most interesting part of this trip so far. The people are fasinating.
Yesterday we played the game ‘more than one story’ with a few locals. I recommend anyone who goes abroad for a long time to take this game with you, especially if you visit a culture that is nowhere similar to yours. The game is basically a cardgame. Every card has a question on it, that asks the players to tell a story. It can be about their childhood, something they are proud of, memories they will never forget… I sometimes forget that every person in the world has the same foundation. We all have stories to tell, only all stories have different morals, values and beliefs.
I was amazed to hear that the two nurses were most grateful for something we take for granted: education. Something so simple for us in Western countries, but so precious for them. They were grateful for their mothers, for sacrificing so much to let their children have education. But also the stories of their childhood, that are so different from ours. Instead of playing videogames or watching tv, their days consisted out of taking care of the cows. Their traditions are so normal to them, but to us it is far from what we know. I won’t tell every story in detail, because I won’t be able to tell it with the pride and strength they told it.
Also, yesterday we visited a woman named Edith. She makes Masaai beadwork. She sells the most beautiful bracelets, necklesses and belts. Everyone wears them here, and yesterday I also got my first bracelet too. It seems like the most difficult work, because the beads are so close to each other and the pattrons seem complicated. But Edith promised us to teach us how to do it, so Saturday Lara and I take up the challenge to make some beadwork ourselves. The best thing about the Masaai beadwork is the power it brings. You might know that women in Kenya don’t have that much say in their families. Edith told us that she cannot sell the cows or goats her family owns, only her husband. It is how it works here. I even did a project on it a few semesters ago. Did you know that when the husband dies, there is a big change that the wife gets disowned from the land she lived on? The husband’s family takes it and she will be left with nothing. It is hard to see how dependent women are here. And that is why it filled my heart when Edith said: ‘But this beadwork, it is my own. My husband has no say over it. It is my work and that is why I am so proud of it.’ Girl power.
We are definitely living the simple life here. Doing laundry takes all morning, we need to clean the entire house everyday and water we only get outside (if the tap even works). But it is nice to see how you can life that way too. Even if (thank god) it is only of 4 weeks.