We all know that it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and experience the world through a different lens. It makes us more understanding, more compassionate—and it allows us to have a greater appreciation for individual cultures. It’s a philosophy that Global Leadership Adventures, along with countless other organizations, are based on, and it has been proven to have an impact time and time again.
This is why, when people travel from all across the globe to the Serengeti of Africa, they are excited to get a peek into the lives of the Maasai people. This semi-nomadic tribe is one of the most recognizable African ethnic groups, due to their colorful dress, traditions and their residence near popular game parks. And, thanks to a partnership with Warrior Trails at the Simangori Maasai Boma, GLA students have the opportunity to spend a weekend with the friendly tribe, experiencing their traditional practices, meals, dances and celebrations. It’s a highlight for every student who travels to Tanzania with GLA, and is an incredible opportunity to immerse in a culture so different from that of the western world.
Maasai Weekend: Journal from Day 1
Here’s what teenager Sunita, who visited the Maasai tribe with GLA this summer, had to say about her first day with these colorful, friendly people.
“This weekend we went to visit the Maasai tribe. What an incredible experience!
After a two-hour journey, we arrived and were greeted by a traditional dance. We were all gifted a bracelet and an authentic Maasai shawl, which we wore for the whole weekend. Following a hearty lunch, we headed to the newly opened school, where we saw students reciting the alphabet and numbers. After playing with the schoolchildren and watching them participate in running races, we gave them some gifts and then went on to learn some Maasai games and play together.
Later, we tried our hand at spear throwing! After a short demonstration from the warriors, we all tried our hand at killing the ‘lion’, which was really a sand bag. After that, we watched the warriors wrestle with each other, and some of our students decided to participate in the wrestling as well! We also played a traditional game that slightly resembled tag.
Afterward, we got to witness a lamb being slaughtered, although some students decided not to watch. I found it really interesting. Afterwards, we watched an amazing sunset, and sat down for a traditional Maasai dinner, which was incredible.
When the sun had gone down, the fire was lit, and the singing began! The male warriors made grunting noises whilst dancing and jumping, whilst the girls danced to the same tune. We sang and danced for hours, and learned some new dances, included charging at one another in two groups, which was very fun!
When it was finally time for bed, most of the students slept in the Maasai manner – under the stars – under the watchful eye of the warriors who protected us from lions and hyenas. It was an amazing ending to the perfect day in Tanzania.”
If you want to experience the life of the Maasai tribe, careful planning is required. You’ll need to make arrangements with a tour operator or organization like Warrior Trails that facilitates visits. Or, if you’re planning on visiting Eastern Africa as a member of a longer program, be sure to ask whether or not visiting a Maasai boma is included. Global Leadership Adventures programs in Tanzania always include this experience.
Gillian Gleizer says
Global Leadership Adventures is amazing for this very reason. They allow kids to experience things in the world that many adults will never even have the opportunity to experience. The Maadai tribe is very remote and locals guides are needed to be able to immerse oneself into their culture. GLA has a local staff as well as an international staff that has a vast array of knowledge about the country you are in. They are able to point out many things and show many things that a simple travel book or tour guide would not be able to.