On the road to Ngorongoro Crater

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After another downpour overnight we awaken to clear sky. Looks like the gods are favoring us today. Our day's itinerary includes visiting a Maasai village. Actually, it's
Lobulu's village, the Maasai who had lead us on the short hike the day before.


The morning's sunrise is spectacular as we head west towards the goals of out trip, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.

Perhaps Enkai will favor us today and not bless us with its rain. Once again we found ourinsides being jostled by the bara bara ina rasta.

But, there is a difference on this ride. Lobulu is riding with us. I'm in the back seat with Bill and Lobulu is in the middle. I have no idea how long the drive will be so I figure I will pester him with Swahili questions. Where do you think I learned to write bara bara ina rasta! Surprise of surprises, the bumpy gravel road gives way to a paved road and within 15 to 20 minutes we arrive a Lobulu's village. People are waiting outside their enkaji as we arrive. As we step out of the Land Cruisers the Maasai women approach us and give our ladies the traditional Maasai woman's beaded necklace. Our ladies figure out "when in Rome, do as the Romans do..." and join in on the festivities.

This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. We entered one of the enkaji and had a nice heart to heart conversation with our hosts. They asked questions and
we asked questions. What were the questions? Well, they range from A to Z.

How many children do you have? Maasai to non-Maasai.

You have no children! (horrified) Why not? Maasai to non-Maasai.

What is the custom or manner of burying and honoring the dead? Non-Maasai to Maasai.

Your get the picture. It was a very interesting experience. While we may think they will never see us again these ladies will think about the questions they were
asked and the answers they received to their questions. This visit is not the visit that will end all of mankind's problems, but we were still able to have fun
and enjoy the fact that the "Family of Mankind" seems to work the same way, regardless of latitude, longitude or astrological sign.

Getting into the groove in a Maasai way.We were asked to volunteer to thatch a roof and plaster a enkaji. The more adventurous chose to do so!

Bill and Jerry show the ladies how a guy thatches!Next task. Plastering the side of an enkaji. Okay, boys and girls, who wants to join in this project?

Joan jumps forward. I'm thinking, "what?"So here she is, plastering a Maasai enkaji with her own bare hands!

The kids thought that was funny. Why? Well, uh, do you know. The plaster mixture is,well, watch the video.

Lobulu and his family were wonderful hosts. They were very courteous to us wazungu. The visit to this village was great, as far as I'm concerned. I don't think most visitors to Tanzania ever have the chance to meet and talk with people in the various towns and villages they pass by on their way to the game parks.
This was an unexpected experience for me.

Joan and her friends. A farewell dance




Oh, yes, the Maasai really do respect the land and creatures around them. Here's a kitten outside an enkaji.And, here's Lobulu with the same two kittens! They were born in his
enkaji and he picked them up off the floor when we all came walking in.

Or course, I had to have my photo with my Swahili tutor and his family (numerous wives).

After our visit to Lobulu's village we were finally on our way to the real destination point, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
I had ants in my pants, but then again, I've been reading about the Serengeti since I was in high school. And, despite a trip to southern Africa
in 2001 this time I was going to be in the Serengeti. For nature-lover/Outward Bound types like me this is the Holy Grail!

In case you're clueless it's like being a Little League player and suddenly finding yourself in the World Series, period! You're a sprint car driver and
suddenly you're at Indy or LeMans. Get the picture?

The drive from his village to our next lodge was not bad. A paved highway. Our next stop
was Tloma Lodge. From a geological stand point, the destination was significant. We would be traveling on the

west escarpment of the Great Rift in Africa!

We were at the point on the earth were the great continent of Pangea started separating. If you don't know what I'm referring to then now it the time to
Goggle Pangea. My guess is it will be a big surprise. Nonetheless, we were traveling in a place where time began for humankind, regardless of what Fox News tells you!

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© 2009 Anthony Galván III

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