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La Chica’s celebrating!

June 19, 2011

La Chica is still smiling days after her new best friend David Morawetz, Founder and Director of the Social Justice Fund (a fund of the Australian Communities Foundation) very generously gave a $10,000 grant to Testigo Africa for the Longido water project!  She has been celebrating ever since…  La Chica has managed to attend three Masai ceremonies in five days, and is now preparing for her Indian Muslim friend’s wedding and looking forward to having her hands painted with henna.

In Arusha La Chica met up with her Masai warrior friend Zac, having last seen him in Melbourne when he came to visit La Chica and her family.  Zac invited her back to Manyara for two different coming of age ceremonies taking place that day and the following day.  Throwing caution and jetlag to the wind (La Chica had been back in Tanzania for less than 24 hours!), they hitched a lift with Graeme, a Scottish hot air balloon operator(unfortunately for La Chica, the lift was in his 4WD and not the hot air balloon), and then paid $7 to rent a motorbike to take them to the boma where the first celebration was already underway.  La Chica was in heaven when the Masai men and women surrounded her, singing and jumping up and down.  Hours later, they rode to another boma where five boys were preparing to be circumcised.  La Chica witnessed the ceremony, the drinking of cows blood, slaughtering of a bull, and many goats, and hung around drinking chai and chatting to the warriors.  La Chica received a marriage proposal from a gentle one-eyed Masai man, but after finding out he only had 9 cows and already had 8 wives she gratiously declined.  La Chica and Zac returned to Arusha the following day and then they went to Longido to visit Namnyak, Olengunin and their family, and to stay in La Chica’s mud huts.  La Chica’s boyfriend (four year old Sakio) was very excited to see her, giving her a cheeky smile and shaking her hand like a true gentleman.  Within the hour La Chica was dressed in her Masai clothes and jewellery and accompanied her Masai friends to a neighbouring sub-village for an elder ceremony.  Along the way they saw deer, two giraffes, two dik diks and many birds.  At the boma the boys went off to eat meat and jump up and down, and La Chica and her friends went to get sodas and eat lunch under the trees.  As part of the ceremony the Masai men and women arm themselves with tree branches and have to run and hit each other with them.  La Chica chased a poor Masai man kilometres until she realised that the game was already over.  La Chica’s brother is arriving in Tanzania in a week’s time, and La Chica is so excited she’ll be able to show off her mud huts and two goats Nadune Engiok and Alakara.  Bon voyage Peter!

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