Saturday, June 19, 2010


Things I’ve learned the hard way today:

1. Cute High School girls at a Masaai cattle market = several marriage proposals = giddy girls = Emily in Mom mode = disappointed Masaai men.

2. The sheaths for Masaai knifes smell like Cat Food and if placed in your closed up room will then make your room smell like a playground for our feline friends.

3. Don’t wear a white tank top to a place where you will be eating with you hands and surrounded by cow poo.

Today we ventured to what I like to call, "Look at all the white people following behind the old guy as they weave in and out of cows VILLE" or better known as The Masaai Cattle Market. This was a great experience for all.

The Cattle Market happens twice a month here in good ol' Morogoro. Essentially it is a flee market for the Masaai. This is where they come to sell and trade cattle and goats. They also can get the beads that they use for jewelry, cloth, shoes, knives, spears, and all the other goods that make Masaai totally cool and authentic. For most Masaai this is more or less a day of banking for them. Unlike the bank accounts that we have, Masaai wealth is measured in cattle and goats. So to buy and sell at the market is to actually complete your banking. VISA- It's everywhere you want to be- well not here!

When we arrived, we toured the whole market, following closely behind The Haff. As we were stared at as if an attraction at the zoo, all we could do was smile and laugh. After making our rounds we stopped for lunch. Under the shade of a thatched roof, we enjoyed what many described as the best meal of our adventure. Carved before our eyes by a Masaai man by the name of Ridjua (with an extra hand to help hold courtesy of Scott Durscher) was the meat of a freshly butchered cow. I will say that we were all a bit relieved when we learned that the goats we had planned on eating were not yet done. The Haff was hungry- so beef it was!

Along with our slab of cow, we enjoyed what the locals called "Chips Mayai." It is potato wedges (fries) with egg. A strange combination I assure you. But delicious! The fries are cooked first and then the egg is broken over the top of them and then fried. So what you get is a big patty of fries and fried egg. Um can you say delicious and artery clogging? Because I sure can! But I'm okay with it. I really am. Just ask my thighs!

After we were sufficiently stuffed, we rolled ourselves out from under the thatched roof and did some shopping. We spent way too much money on things we didn't necessarily need, but really REALLY wanted. Parents- I will neither confirm nor deny that your kids may or may not come home with a schlew of weapons.... Customs might be interesting me thinks!

Everyday is so unique here. We learn daily from the people around us. We learn what hospitality is. We are shown kindness as strangers. We are welcomed to a community drastically different than our own without questions. Life is good here in Tanzania.

Oh and I seriously thought abut purchasing cow bells to place on some of my wandering children. I thought this might come in handy at the airport if they get antsy. Would bells make it though the security checkpoint? A chance I'm willing to take!

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