05 March 2009

How Warriors Eat

With my morning chores and preparations done bye 8am, I decided to go to the Honey Drop to have breakfast and watch the news.  I noticed other times that the news was on at that time of day, so I figured that at the least I could actually see the morning news.  The Daily Nation is a decent news paper, but it is always a day behind.  International news may come even later.  Africa and Kenya news is pretty current, so it does the trick.  I sat down to see the tv while I had a chai and got ready for the work day.  As I was getting comfortable, in walked the group of Maasai guards.  Feared by all locals for their brutal disposition, the Maasai have a greater effect on a room that any mzungu.  It does not help that they travel in groups.  We had seen them at the Honey Drop before, but this time I was a customer and they were sitting with me.  They did their usual stare, wave, "How are You?" and laugh.  They are are equally as excited to see us as we are to see them.  Michael and I will always text each other to say that we have had an interaction with them.  For awhile, seeing them was enough, but now that we have shaken their hands and said hello it takes a bit more to notify the other.  Their arrival made my choice even more enjoyable.  I can now say that I shared a meal with Maasai Warriors.  It may not be in the sense that people will think when I say the previous phrase, but it is not a lie.  I got a good laugh when one of them got a phone call.  He lifted up his plaid cloth dressish shirt to retrieve a phone from a hand made leather belt.  Next to the phone holster on the belt was a blade the length of my forearm in a cloth sheath, and a carved stick with a round end that was either a large smoking device or a nasty club.  He picked up the phone and chatted away.  All the rest were dressed the same except for the 'Business Maasai.'  He wore suit pants and an oxford shirt, but had a neaklace underneath and the same leather belt as the rest.  No, it was not missing the sword and beating stick.  A suit and a sword, how much more serious can you dress?

Sue was still out and Nancy was out with a sickness as well.  The SJC is not doing well with the health of its employees.  Fortunately the link seems to be the female sex, so I feel pretty confident that I will be ok for a little bit longer.  I reformated my table to Judi's specifications and then played soccer and used the zipline with some of the kids.  The end of the week is older kids.  That means more for me to do when I have no office tasks.  I showed one boy my computer.  He happily drew along in paint and held down the letters n and m in word.  I then threw on the webcam to see what he would think.  It took him awhile to realize that it was his face that was on the screen and everything that he did would be copied before his eyes.  I recorded a bit of what he did and hope to have it up soon.

When I took my mid-day outdoor walk/break, the young kids noticed me and one was courageous to yell "Habari! (How are you)."  I gave the response of "Nzuri (Im fine)," and he bolted to tell the other kids that the mzungu said something back to him.  One by one, the children began to yell "Habari!" across the field.  I answered every so often and then would burst into laughter and dance around.  One inched closer and closer to make up the 100yd distance between us.  I put out my hand to see what he might do and he dropped everything to run to shake my hand.  Of course the rest followed.  I continue to be amused by the small children who will run hundreds of feet just to see us.  They will run further to show greetings and shake our hands.  The smallest ones will light up just to touch my hand.  I can't help but feel happy seeing their reactions.  It definitely makes light of any sort of day. 

I noticed a bit later that they were walking out of school and saw them walking home alone.  I see kids everywhere in town, but it was strange to see such tiny kids walking along in the center of town.  I make no judgement, but just imagine seeing a bunch of pre-k kids walking home from school through your town and you will get the picture.

Lesson number two of Swahili with Mama William just ended.  I am already noticing improvements in my recognition of words and phrases.  I think that if we keep this up, we will have an acceptable understanding of the language.

Tomorrow is yet another Friday off.

Happy Weekend!