Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beautiful Women

Post by Susan
I bet you were thinking I was going to talk about us…we are beautiful and it manifested itself through our empathy for these beautiful women at the Samburu village.

Betsy and I went to visit the Samburu village while Luanne nursed her cold in the morning. Overall it was a very depressing experience because these once proud people needed to prostitute themselves to buy food and necessities for their tribe. We felt like voyeurs on their lives but we know the money we paid for admission, contributed to their education foundation and gifts we bought would help keep them alive during this devastating drought. Almost all of their cows have died and they have a few calves they are keeping alive by feeding them porridge. Their goats are alive but emaciated.

We had a guide (Simon) who was educated by the Catholic missionaries through secondary school and he came back to his village to teach and take a wife. Since he is educated, he did not become a warrior like most of the young men. The process of becoming a warrior begins at age 15-19 with a tribal circumcision ceremony. All these young “warriors” tend their herds and keep the tribe safe from predators. After 15 years as a warrior, they return to their clan’s village and begin the process of choosing a wife from another clan (total of 8 in the Saburo tribe). The bride will be 16, the age of womanhood but Simon made a point that they no longer practice female circumcision. All children are now educated through primary school but few leave the village.

We danced with the warriors and women, had a tour of one of their homes (you do not want to hear about that) and finally had to walk the “gauntlet” of each woman selling her weaving and jewelry.

It was a very demeaning experience for all but when you need to feed your children you will resort to almost anything. That is why I showed you the picture of these proud, beautiful women because as we quoted before, they can never retire from motherhood and they had to feed their children.

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