Balls to the wall.
That sentence literally describes the past hour of my life. Today Okello invited us all to his house for a celebration goat slaughter. We missed the actual slaughter because we were in class but I got to help skin the goat afterwards and then we all got to try some once it roasted over the fire. The meat was a little chewier than I’m used to but it tasted really good. I tried a piece of the kidney and even a small piece of the testicles. To say that was a little out of my comfort zone is putting it lightly! It was like eating charred, hairy cartilage… yes hairy. But, it’s a delicacy here and who am I to turn that down during a celebration? I took a Survivor style picture afterwards to prove I actually ate it!
On Tuesday we got to go out for our first Ecology related field exercise. We were dropped off at a certain spot with a guide and a transect map to fill out, with the instructions to walk 4 kilometers in one direction and take notes on everything we saw. We stopped to talk to a few people and got to see a lot of good examples of the local agriculture. It was really interesting to see all the differences between how they grow crops and how we do back home. We ran into a little girl on our way back to the car and she completely stole my heart. She kept running to catch up to us and saying hi. I took a picture of her and she was so excited to see it! She quickly grabbed her little brothers and said “Smile! Picture!” I took a few more of them and they giggled at their smiling faces. We said goodbye and I didn’t make it more than 10 feet before I heard tiny feet pounding the dirt behind me. All of a sudden a little hand grasped mine and she kept pace with me for a few yards, smiling the whole way. She was the most precious little kid I’ve ever met and I didn’t want to leave!
Yesterday we had another non-program day. Some local Maasai warriors and mamas came to teach us how to make beaded bracelets and how to be a warrior. Unfortunately we had to choose, and I really wanted to see how the bracelets were made! We each got some wire and beads and the mamas gave us a pattern to follow. When we did well they said “Oh, you are very smart! Very smart!” We got to keep the bracelets after and we have extra supplies if we want to try again sometime. I hear the warriors taught people how they danced and how to throw spears! I hope my Swahili teacher, Daniel, keeps his word about teaching us spear throwing! After lunch, we got to visit a local lodge to relax and wind down from a hard school week. I immediately shelled out some cash for a full-body massage. Why not? It was definitely an experience, considering I’ve never even gotten a normal massage before. After that I threw on a swim suit and enjoyed the nice cool pool for hours. It felt so nice to be in the water again! We all just messed around, practicing swim strokes and playing funny games underwater.
I already can’t imagine leaving this place. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this semester takes me. Already I’m a changed woman and I look forward to growing even more over the next few months. As Okello would say, I’m on my way to becoming a global citizen and I’m trying to experience everything Africa has to offer. I can say with absolute certainty that I love it here and this has sparked my determination to figure out a way to travel as much as I can in life.
Asante Sana for reading!