Name: Kim Johnson
School: Colby College
Program: Wildlife Management Studies, Kenya
Today we had the incredible opportunity of visiting a traditional Maasai boma. Upon arriving, we were warmly greeted by the mamas who were adorned in beautiful fabrics and hand-made beaded jewelry. It is customary to exchange songs as a form of welcome, so the Maasai mamas first sang and danced for us. Smiles were contagious as the mamas grabbed some of the SFS students’ hands to dance together. We then sang “You Are My Sunshine” in reciprocation. After the festivities, everyone gathered around our Maasai Swahili teacher, Daniel, who explained certain artifacts and their purposes to us, including a bow and arrow, a club, and a mattress. After the short lesson we were invited into the houses of the mamas.
Inside, the house was warm and peaceful as we had a moment to sit down and enjoy the serenity that filled the air. After allowing everyone the chance to quietly reflect, the mamas gathered in a large circle on the grass, displaying the gorgeous bracelets, necklaces, and rings they had beaded themselves. All students entered the circle and meandered while admiring the artifacts. Most students made purchases, using the Kiswahili learned in class earlier that day to ask the price and also bargain. The visit concluded by thanking the mamas for hosting us and saying goodbye. It was a wonderful and culturally enlightening experience!