Channeling my inner (Maasai) warrior

Trip Start Jun 15, 2013
Trip End Jul 02, 2013

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Flag of Kenya  ,
Friday, June 28, 2013

Few things in life beats the real thing. And while on the continent of Africa, what can be more real and life changing than being in the middle of nature, surrounded by wild animals? Yes, I did go on a safari. And yes, there is nothing that can beat the thrill of being so close to some of the most magnificent animals on planet Earth. I'm not much of a ZOO person and would definitely never go and see some captivated animals in a circus. Animals in captivity and behind bars just ain't my thing. But imagine being on a open air truck in Kenya's Amboseli National Park and see elephants, giraffes, zebras and lions.... it is a must-do for adults and children alike.

The feeling of being a part of nature, a guest in the kingdom of animals where they roam free without fences or borders. Lions and zebras drinking next to eachother are reminding me of the fact that the predator only hunts while hungry and never eats in excess. Something our western consumerist society could reflect on and learn from. Our driver is a wealth of knowledge and we learn about the bat eared fox, wildebeest and many other animals that I have never even heard of. I am beyond fascinated and blown away by the impact the closeness to nature is having on me. It feels like I am in the heart of our Planet, like this is the place where it all began, the seed of humanity, the Base- Mother Africa. The saying "If only visiting two continents of the world in your life, visit Africa twice" comes to mind. I truly believe that if everyone visited this part of the world, there would be more compassion for diversity, animals, human beings and there would be more Love. How can one not Love after visiting this place?

Amboseli National Park is also home to several Maasai villages and our group has the privilege to visit two of them. A dusty, bumpy ride trough the park takes us to a village with about sixteen huts and a school. Jackson, the village chief, welcomes us and tells us that we are about to view a traditional, ceremonial dance. Next thing we know, we are surrounded by the whole village. Their tall and slender bodies are covered with colorful Shks, or cotton capes and layers upon layers of beaded jewelry. They run around us in a circle until the dust is so thick I almost can't see. I do my best to cover my camera gear that is now completely red from the soil.

They all line up and start to sing in a call and response type of fashion. The dust, the stomping, the colors, the song- this is the most profound moment of my stay in Kenya. My whole being is vibrating on the most amazing frequency together with the dancers. And as I have seen so many times on travel programs and in images, the men started to jump. They leaped so high and landed only on their toes, never on their heels. Their beads bouncing, broad smiles, the women keeping the beat while clapping. It was spectacular and mesmerizing and felt so genuine. I am so lucky to have experienced this tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Later we get escorted to the middle of the village where their cows must spend a lot of time as the whole area is completely covered in manure accompanied by a million flies feasting. Happy that I made the decision to wear sneakers instead of sandals, I make my way over to an area where the village medicine man is showing us how to make fire in under a minute, what roots are good for health and stamina as well as any other tricks that a man of his importance can provide. I try to stay focused while being almost covered by flies and pray that I will stay healthy trough this visit.

A yoga class is later taught for the village kids that willingly lays down on the dirt to do upward dog and bow pose. The visit ends with some local arts and craft shopping. We all look like Maasai warriors ourselves as we head back on the bus, covered in beaded jewelry, carrying walking sticks, shields and knifes. A truly inspiring and humbling experience that I will never forget. A visit to a Maasai village will bring out the inner warrior in anyone, on and off the yoga mat :)

Peace, Love & Warriors
yours truly~theSwedishVagabond
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kristen kurtz on

You are my hero girl. I LOVE reading your blogs!!! Love and miss you and looking forward to seeing you soon again! xo Kristen

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