Monday, October 11, 2010


Kenya is the home of two tribal groups, the Maasai and the Samburu - the latter being an offshoot of the former.  In the Laikipia region, the Samburu tribe is more prominent.  Both tribes, however, are cattle herders.  They do have to follow regulations and keep their cattle in certain areas, because the bells of the cows scare off the wild game. Other than that, the land is just is much theirs as it is the animals' that roam free.

After seeing Samburu tribesmen walking on foot with no weapons for protection, I had asked Annabell how many tribesmen die from elephant attacks (or any other animal for that matter).  She replied, on average, there are 2 tribesmen a year that die, but having a knowledge of the land and the animals, they're usually quite careful while walking in the bush. 

On the way to the waterfall, Albie and I had to slow down due to an elephant bull in the road.  The bull moved over and hid himself behind a bush.  Hid as in, he positioned himself in a way that people on the road can't see him, but he can see them. A few moments later I spotted a few Samburu tribesmen.  Albie spoke to them in Swahili and the next thing I knew we had 3 extra people in the car with us.  
We turned around and drove them safely past the elephant.  They got out and thanked us before going on their way.  When we passed the elephant again, you could see in his eyes and in his posture that he was on the hunt, waiting for an unsuspecting victim.  Who knows what could have happened had we not driven them past the bull.

The night of my birthday we were able to visit a local Samburu village. As we drove into the village they all greeted us with a handshake.  It appeared as though they were all excited to see us, and welcomed us warmly.  They sang and danced for us, and grabbed our hands to join along.  We were invited inside one of their mud huts, which lacks any light except for the small fire they had burning on the floor inside. Their humble conditions were even worse than what I had seen while living in Brazil.  But what amazed me in Brazil and more so during the visit to the Samburu village, is that their meager dwelling didn't stop them from having wonderfully happy countenances.

After getting a shot of the first person I took a picture of, I turned my camera around so they could see how it turned out.  They laughed and pointed, and others gathered around as well.  There came a moment when the image screen was so full of fingerprints I wondered how they could even see the picture anymore. After that, one person after another would request I take their picture so they could see it afterward. When I switched from my camera to my camcorder, a few boys started gathering around me. Although I had doubts if the Samburu people had ever seen the pictures taken of them before, I was well aware, in the way the boys were in awe, that they had never seen streaming video from a camcorder.  It was such a beautiful experience, to see the excitement in their eyes for something we (from first world countries) have come to take advantage of.

(What's not beautiful is being unable to download my video directly to my blog, but having to go through YouTube in order to do so.   P.S.  I know the video is long, so I won't be offended if you skip through most of it).

1 comment:

Vera said...

Are you on vacation or something? I saw your video. The people there are beautiful, and so does the view. I've always been wanting to go to other countries, but I'm just only a student with no money. :( (BYW, I'm not American. Just wanna use the blog to practice my English, ha.) Enjoy yourself. Hope you can answer my comments. I haven't made any friends from yet, and that's sad.