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WELCOMED Sophia Shin, an eighth grader at Annunciation Orthodox School, along with her family, spent time with some members of the Maasai people in Kenya this summer.
This June I had an incredible experience of spending time with the Maasai, one of the tribes in Kenya, in East Africa. The Maasai people have preserved their long-standing culture. My family and I had the honor of meeting the chief’s son, and we were invited to their village to see how they live and learn about their history and traditions.
Upon arrival to the village, we were greeted by John, the chief’s son. He was dressed in traditional Maasai cloth, which is a red sheet. He and the villagers were warm and welcoming. We were invited inside their home and learned about the importance of family life.
John said each day the children must spend time with parents to discuss the chores for the next day, and they must spend time with grandparents and elders of the village to gain wisdom and receive advice.
Maasai women play an important role in village life. They are responsible for building and maintaining the home, which is a small hut. Daily, they fetch water from the lake, feed and care for the children, milk the cows, and make beaded jewelry to sell at the market. The women welcomed us to their village by singing and dancing a traditional song.
The men in the village are responsible for making fire using sticks, managing the herd of goats and cows, and helping to resolve conflicts in the village and taking care of the finances. The livestock is important as it is a source of nutrition and income for the village.
One of the highlights was seeing the children. They were so friendly. I learned that some of their struggles are access to education and healthcare. They accept help from their government as well as international charities.
My experience with the Maasai tribe was unforgettable. Community members contribute to all the work that is required. It reminded me that, although we may live differently, we have much in common.
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