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Kenya Part III

Saturday 20 December 2008

I could say that our safari this afternoon was unsuccessful. When the American gay couple who is staying at the same lodge as us told us that they saw chitas in their morning safari, we got quite excited. So today, we looked for chitas and leopards but found no sign.

Of course, we saw incredibly beautiful and ugly birds whose names I can't even remember. But the most interesting things we saw today were the wild boar and her incredibly cute and tiny two cubs (they were really sweet) as well as the 23 ostriche eggs, which were placed in a pool of sand.

For dinner, we had Kenyan food. Corn bread, a dish, which looks like mashed rice, made of flour and is called ugali, broccoli soup, a spicy lentil dish and a spicy salad with tomatoes and onion. F. ate lamb.

Another couple arrived in the lodges today. Now we are 6 people in total. It is getting more and more crowded. The owners of the lodge are private investors (white Kenyan and the Swiss) and the Masai people who own the land. The Masai find employment here, get paid and also earn rent income. According to the lodge managers, money makes some of them greedy but no matter what this helps the girls to go to school and the money is used in constructing schools.

Even though the Masai men have the right to marry more than 10 wives (just like the 42 other tribes in Kenya who speak different languages), some of them are adjusting to the modern times and reducing the number of their wives. Even though the practice of female circumcision is ongoing, some NGOs are doing work in this space. Also, as the Masai realised that they can make money from "lion tourism", they have reduced the tradition of hunting animals when boys get circumcised. Although generally the Masai have a warrior culture, they are very calm, polite and intelligent. When you look at them and speak to them, besides the knives and the daggers they carry, it is hard to believe that they are warriors. They look much calmer and peaceful than the westerners and people living in the cities. Some of them get very attached to their animals and even though they are very poor and might own hundreds of animals, because they love them so much, they refuse to eat or sell them. During drought, when animals die, the Masai are left with nothing. By the way, the family bond in the animal world is, in some cases, much stronger than humans. Our guide told us about the male ostriche's dance to flirt with the female and how he watches over and protects his babies. It is really very interesting. However, in the eagle family and the alike, the stronger baby bird kills the weaker one so that he can have more food. This reminds me of human nature, Adam's sons and even the Ottoman or other palacial princes who can kill one another.

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