This Saturday two of our students, Lizzie and Katie returned from their amazing historic trip in Engaruka village for the “Maasai Village Healthcare Experience”.
We have been running a Maasai Village experience from Arusha for quite some time, but decided that it was time to take the students further afield so that along with the usual cultural experience of living amongst the Maasai, they could also have the unique opportunity to get some hands on work alongside a Dispensary Clinical Officer in a Maasai village dispensary.
The girls spent 4 days in the village, with 3 of these spent at the dispensary. Every morning they had to walk a short distance to get there through the village, crossing the ‘Katie river’ (named after our very own Katie after she slipped on some wet stones and fell in on the first day!). It was a fantastic experience working with the Dispensary Clinical Officer and both girls felt like they gained some good experience.
Before leaving for the Maasai village, Katie had been a bit worried that as a vegetarian there would be a lack of things to eat. During the week though, Penina, her host mother, surprised her with a variety of Tanzanian treats.
After dinner the girls got involved in many different activities, one of their favourites being a visit to the women group in the village. These ‘white Maasai girls’ were given new Maasai names; Lizzie was named ‘Ngoje’ – meaning Queen, and Katie’s was named ‘Nashipai’ meaning Happy!
It was good to feel part of the Maasai women community, singing with, making beads and dressing traditionally like other women. We visited maasai bomas, traditional maasai houses and even got involved in milking!
The last day, Friday, was a day both girls will always remember as the Maasai made a traditional goat sacrifice. The girls joined the walk to Orpul, the sacrifice place, and though Katie is a vegetarian and didn’t want to be part of the goat sacrifice, Lizzie was keen to get involved in almost everything. She helped skin the goat but decided enough was enough and stepped back when the young Maasai warriors demonstrated their strength by eating the raw kidneys and drinking the blood!
The meat was barbequed and Lizzie shared it with the Maasai warriors whilst Katie tucked into the vegetarian food that Lewis, their guide, had brought for her. It was a good job she did have extra because Lizzie and the Maasai finished the whole goat whilst watching the dance peformed in honour of the sacrifice!
Check out our Arusha programme for more details on Work the World placements in Northern Tanzania or read about our village healthcare experiences in Ghana, India and Tanzania