The Maasai live in Kraals arranged in a circular fashion. The fence around the kraal is made of acacia thorns, which prevent lions from attacking the cattle. It is a man’s responsibility to fence the kraal. While women construct the houses. Traditionally, kraals are shared by an extended family. However, due to the new land management system in the Maasai region, it is not uncommon to see a kraal occupied by a single family.
The Inkajijik (maasai word for a house) are loaf-shaped and made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow’s urine. Women are responsible for making the houses as well as supplying water, collecting firewood, milking cattle and cooking for the family. Warriors are in charge security while boys are responsible for herding livestock. During the drought season, both warriors and boys assume the responsibility for herding livestock.
The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who lived under a communal land management system. Livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep are the primary source of income for the Maasai.The Maasai
A short distance away from where we stayed in the Maasai Mara is the home of the Maasai people. We were very eager to see how the famous Maasai warriors lived and embraced Christianity. When we arrived, we were welcomed by the chief as though we were his long lost friends. He took us inside his village to show us how his people lived. For the Maasai, it seemed as if time stopped thousands of years ago. Their clothing, weapons, mud houses, and herding culture appeared as if it was straight from the books of ancient days. The only moment that brought us back to the realization that we were still in the twenty first century was when the chief took a call on his cell phone. What a clash of two different worlds.
We went into huts that were the size of your typical bathroom. Inside was one big bed for the whole family, a fire pit and nothing else. After viewing the home, we were shown how to start a fire using a stick, a piece of animal skin and grass. When they finished their survival skills presentation, we were asked to come to a place where all of the women were waiting for us dressed in their traditional clothes. We were told that they would dance and sing Christian songs. We learned from our host that years ago some missionaries had come and told them about Jesus and since then the whole village has been Christian. They danced and sang with joy for the creator of the heavens and the earth. It was an amazing moment to see those Maasai people in their colourful outfits worshiping the living God.
Our next stop was another special experience. Adjacent to the village was a school. Again, we were greeted with songs by little ones and their teachers. We brought with us some toys and sweets. Seeing those little barefooted children receiving the gifts with such joy and appreciation was one of the most incredible moments of our trip. As the children played, I noticed the field where they played was infested with snakes. I asked our host if they ever worried about the snakes biting the children. He responded that no one is worried, because everyone is used to them. Just for a second imagine your children running around with wildlife of all sorts such as cheetahs, hyenas, snakes, hippos, and others. Only the night before, a leopard had jumped over a seven or eight foot fence, sucked the blood from one of their goats and then carted the animal back into the wilderness. The villagers had tried to catch and kill him, but he escaped into the night. We have to understand that those people are living in a very hard and hostile environment where survival is paramount.
We left the place with mixed feelings. On one hand, it was such a remarkable and beautiful place with amazing people who fully understand how to be grateful for everything that God brings their way. On the other hand, I could not imagine going miles to get drinking water and constantly being on the watch for danger. The truth is that thousands of people die in Africa every day and so many do so without knowing about the hope and life that Jesus Christ can bring. I was very grateful that we were able to bring at least a small glimpse of the love of God to those Maasai people whom we encountered.
Our friend, Gerry, told us on a number of occasions that he was amazed with how we took to driving around Kenya to places where white people usually dare not go. He said that he has never seen visitors like us before who not only went without fear but also with so much faith. The truth is that when God sends you somewhere, it is not your will but His, and its not your time to meet the Creator He has perfect ability to protect you. As ambassadors, we are to go forth proclaiming the Kingdom of our King Jesus while leaving everything else is in His hands.
Kenya is fascinating and beautiful and at the same time is dangerous and unpredictable. People say you either love or hate Africa. I can truly say that I left part of myself with those people, right there in Kenya. Now my prayer is that one day, I will be able to find grace in the eyes of my God to go back for another adventure of impacting those who are called to be lions with the message of SALVATION! Until then, may the Lord Jesus bless them and keep them for now and eternity.
Maasai women dancing and singing for us
Maasai school for children
Nairobi Animal Orphanage
Dave Hughes and Nathaniel Pawlowski dancing with the Maasai
Nairobi Snake Park
The National Museums of Kenya