In Africa, we only visited one village that wasn’t a Compassion project.
It was at the end of our trip, during our debriefing time, when we visited a very remote Maasai tribe. Entering the village was like stepping into the pages of National Geographic Magazine.
Branches and sticks circled the small village to keep wild animals away. Mud, manure and hardworking women turned huts into homes. These indigenous people survive only on the meat, milk and blood of their animals. I’ve never seen a more primitive way of life.
Although this village is remote, they allowed us to view their way of life because they wanted us to buy from them. As we entered the village, they insisted that the women in our group sing and dance with the Maasai wives. It was an honor we couldn’t refuse (especially since the man instructing us held a warrior club).
He led us to nine of the wives (one with a baby strapped to her back), many of whom looked like girls. They removed their heavy beaded necklaces and placed them over our heads.
Y’all, I don’t sing.
And I certainly do. not. dance. (Because snapping fingers and swaying does not a dancer make). But I also wasn’t feeling rebellious.
A low moan and foreign words came from the lips of the women as they bent and moved back and forth. It sounded something (or actually, nothing) like “Maaaaaaaaaa Woooooooooo Chuma Dago Soto (and then, I do not lie, they said) Hell, Yeah“
So, we bent and we sang some noises and we all ended each phrase with…
Totally inappropriate for a Compassion International trip.