weekly photo challenge: foreign

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this picture was taken in the village of the Maasai people in Kenya. the culture is rich there with values and beliefs stronger than any soldier i’ve seen in the U.S. they believe in being manly men, not shedding a tear when they are presented with a death or pain. one of them laughed when one of the other visitors asked if his gauged earlobes hurt. he said, “ha. i don’t feel pain,”. 

the dirt ground acted as a playground for young children, a field for cows, and a living space for families. they live in small huts made from cow dung and sticks. it takes them a couple months to finish one hut and the women do all the work while the men hunt and strive to become the ultimate man with completing the feat of killing a lion. no one there would tell us exactly how they killed such an animal, but they did mention their hands and a small spear. regardless of how they do it, it’s the task itself that is pretty outstanding.

they dressed in colorful clothes hand died and sewn effortlessly. their jewelry was created with bright beads and outstandingly beautiful colors. their sandals were made from old tires and sticks become earrings for the boys who just began stretching their ears. these people were more resourceful than anyone i’ve seen in the U.S. to some people, the Maasai have nothing. to me, the Maasai have everything they need and they don’t even want anything more. one Maasai man told me his struggles with adapting to “society”. the things they need, like food, have to come from somewhere other than their cattle and in order to get other food they need money but in order to get money they need to hold some sort of job or adapt to “society” in some way. the Maasai people are highly respected in Kenya, but with “society” comes changes in history and culture and traditions.

this land felt so foreign to me during my stay in Kenya. it’s like all those things i’ve ever seen on TV or in magazines was actually real. that is real life to some people. it opened my eyes immensely to all the possible ways of life i’ve never witness before. Kenya is a foreign land to me, yet, whenever i look back at pictures of my journey there i get an overwhelming sense that i belonged there. i left a piece of me there with every step i took and i long for the day i have enough money to hop on a plane and travel back to that vast land so many incredible people call their home.

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i’ve never seen a land so open before. it’s not littered with McDonald’s signs, billboards, or lights. it is simply people working along with what nature gave them, trying to make the best out of everyday they spend herding cattle along endless dirt roads like the one above. the skies were so clear and crisp that the clouds looked only an arms length away. they billowed across the horizon with such ease; nothing getting in their way. 

Kenya life is foreign to me. yet i still felt so at home there with those people.

 

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