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THE MAASAI PEOPLE
The Maasai are an indigenous, traditionally nomadic people who herd goats and keep cattle.
The Maasai have a strong cultural tradition requiring their young men to develop into warriors during their teenage years. The men and women are known for their elaborately beaded adornments, shaved heads and traditional clothing.
They live in relatively small family groups in homes that are clustered together and are constructed of mud, wood and other natural materials. These "clusters" are called bomas.
LIONS AND OUR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
The construction of our first classroom building in Nkasioki in 2007 did not lack excitement.
In order to save costs and provide a community service opportunity, Africa Exchange took a number of Nairobi high school student volunteers to Nkasioki to help with the construction project.
In the middle of the night while Africa Exchange and the student volunteers were sleeping in their camp nearby, three Maasai warriors from the area were seriously wounded when they were mauled by lions. The young men had tracked the big cats during the night after the lions invaded one of the bomas just over the hill from the school construction site scattering 200 head of cattle.
First thing the next morning, the group working at the school site with Africa Exchange was summoned by a frantic runner to transport the wounded to the nearest hospital 2 hours away. During the harrowing ride in the back of a pickup truck one of the young men nearly died from blood loss, arriving at the hospital just in time.
All photos provided by Africa Exchange.
THE NKASIOKI COMMUNITY
Please click in the center of the photo gallery below to see additional photos of the community.
To learn more about our project in Kenya please go to the Nkasioki School Project pages.
The Nkasioki community is located in "the bush" in a remote, rural area several kilometers off the nearest dirt road. The community consists of about ten Maasai settlements situated adjacent to the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve, not far from one of the Reserve's main entrance gates. The nearest town is the county seat of Narok, a 4-5 hour drive southwest from Nairobi.
The area where our school is located has no plumbing or electricity and the community has no paved roads. The people have very little. Local streams and creeks provide water which is not always free of disease. A borehole was drilled to access underground water several years ago. When it is functioning properly it is tremendously helpful in slowing and preventing the spread of trachoma which is the leading cause of blindness among Maasai. Trachoma is spread by flies and the lack of clean water to use for face washing and other hygenic purposes.