Only Days Left

6 August 2011

Maasai Mara

Ololempoke just promised to marry me in 2012. I said “sidai.”

Ololempoke, one of the men who worked at our camp, is handsome and kind. He’s full of energy and his eyes have a youthful sparkle. He told me that when I come back next summer I will be old enough to marry him- 2012, he said. 2012. When he told me that, I said sidai– yes. And I meant it.

From left to right: Parmalai, Karia, me, Ololempoke, Musa. Before I left to return to Nairobi and catch my flight

8 August 2011

Maasai Mara, 6:50 am

These are my last two days here. I’ve been here just long enough to want to go home, long enough to want to stay, not long enough to want to return to Kenya next summer. As of now, it isn’t that I want to come back to Kenya, but that I want to come back to the friends I’ve made here– Nick, Ololempoke, the Nabolu girls. I’ve started friendships here and I want to maintain them. Unfortunately, coming back to do that next summer is very unlikely.

I’ve grown to love certain things about these men that I’ve spent so much time with. They are extremely affectionate, especially with each other. Here, I’ve seen two grown men lying side by side beneath a tree, holding each other simply because they love one another. They are friends, brothers. And they are not ashamed to show their affection.

They are playful, too. Last night, when only a few of us were left around the fire, Musa, Karia, Parmalai and Eric acted out what they said was a typical evening (which turned into days) for old Maasai men. They were very thorough in their presentation, and absolutely hilarious. They began calmly, grunting, mumbling, getting riled up now and then, passing a pipe. But soon they were stealing wives, getting in fights and orchestrating grand schemes of deceit and tomfoolery. It was like a Maasai soap opera, and I laughed all night long.

I’m going to miss this.

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