Back Again

The Tabora Project team is currently spending the second night of their bi-weekly stay in Korogwe and have enjoyed the longest, hottest, most relaxing bathing experiences they’ve had in two weeks. Unfortunately, the pleasantry of their visit was dampered somewhat by the digestive troubles that often come with international travel.

A lot has happened in the couple of weeks since our last blog post:

We got the chance to visit a Maasai wedding. This occurred out of the blue, really. Mama Tabia came up to us one morning and announced that there was some sort of celebration going on in a Maasai camp down the road. We had a hard time understanding exactly what that celebration was, but allowed her to lead the way.

When we got there, just outside the village in a little grove of trees, we found Maasai, many of whom we’re in formal western dress, singing and jump-dancing in a circle. This dancing was quickly followed by a few exchanges in KiMaasai with hallelujahs and amens interjected. We had stumbled into what looked like a gospel service right in the middle of the African plains. We sat and watched for a while before the service broke up a bit and we were invited inside to eat Maasai beef and pilau.

It was at this point we finally had explained to us that the events of the day were centered around a wedding and that we were sitting in the bride’s house, though the bride was nearly too shy to come out and see us.

After lunch, we hung out with the rest of the wedding guests near the speakers which were hooked up to a small generator. We watched some young boys and women dance. Before we actually met the wedding party.

They brought out a long bench and had the bride, groom and their closest friends sit on the bench and then everyone brought out gifts to give to the couple, including a money, buckets, and a goat. We gave what few coins we had with us before the festivities ended and we headed back. It was one of the most interesting experiences we’ve had.

This past weekend we were told that we would finally get to attend a meeting of the village council on either this past Tuesday or Wednesday. However, we later received a message that we would have to postpone that meeting until this coming Saturday, because the local primary school would be holding the national exams for its standard seven students.So rather than go to a meeting, we asked if we could help out with cooking the meal that is served to these students during their exam.

We stayed at the house near the school where the meal was being cooked for a couple hours. For a while though, we didn’t help so much as look. The mama who was cooking the meal had the help of seven or eight young girls and it seemed that all of the jobs were accounted for. We all awkwardly picked through rice with them and helped to open and add the pilau spice packets to the meal, but the only real helping was done by Rachael, who found solid work for herself shredding vegetables and washing dishes as the afternoon progressed. I didn’t know that she had found so much work because I was in another room with Ros playing card games with some of the girls who had done the work that they set out to do. Ros wasn’t feeling well, and I was feeling rather useless since jobs had been offered to me even less than they had been offered to Ros and Rachael. I guess sometimes you have to insist on being useful.


Here’s a picture of the bride and groom:

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About Joshua Paul

Due to his father's military background, Joshua spent his childhood moving throughout the continental United States. Though he did not travel out of the country until his teens, Joshua has been interested in cultural anthropology and linguistics as long as he can remember. A recent graduate from St. John's College in Annapolis with a B. A. in Liberal Arts, he has studied ancient Greek and French for literary purposes. He currently lives near Boise, Idaho.
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