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January 12, 2002

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Camels belched, "Good morning." We rode those beasts to a Masai village where we experienced hut living firsthand. An interior decorator could find a real challenge dressing huts, called ‘bomas’ by the Masai. Forget about drapes; a window or a leak-free roof is a luxury. We left our camels outside and entered a boma through a small opening that forced us to duck our heads. A swarm of flies greeted us. The hut smelled like old milk and stale earth. We paused to let our eyes adjust to the dim interior. Light seeped through the grass roof onto a packed earth floor and walls of dung and dried mud. We sat on the only piece of furniture, a rough bench. A family of six lives in this boma, one main room for cooking and daily activities, a small adjoining cubicle serves as a bedroom for wife and daughters, another small cubicle for husband and sons. Masai men can marry multiple women; one man in the village has eleven wives and over fifty children! The biggest living space in the hut is reserved for goats and calves; these animals sleep inside for protection from scavenging hyenas. The Masai build cook fires in the center of their floors and let the smoke filter through the reed roof (smoke can get out but water can’t get in). This is simple living. Even though we know many people live this way, we’re still surprised to see that they do. With these thoughts we left the boma and returned to the truck. We drove into the plains near the Serengeti and pitched camp next to another Masai boma. Sandpaper brown plains stretched around us. Young Masai warriors visited our camp and provided a splash of color in their bright red sashes of cloth worn toga-style. Leaning on their spears, they stared at us with inscrutable expressions as we set up our tents. What do they think of tourists? Do they find our world as foreign as we find theirs?
How do you parallel park this thing?
No age restriction for a camel drivers license
Masai like the color red. Red clothes, the fashion for all seasons here
Try putting up a tent with this audience.