I’m reading a short book I picked up called Facing the Lion, Growing up Maasai on the African Savanna by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton. It relates Lemasolai’s boyhood growing up in northern Kenya and how he eventually came to attend St. Lawrence University where he received a BA and MA before getting another master’s degree at Harvard. The Maasai are nomadic people, moving their cattle to follow grazing opportunities. At least one child from each family was required to attend school and there were missionary-run schools in the region, some with even boarding capabilities. Lemasolai attended one of these but sometimes his family might be camped a few miles away and sometimes they might be 50 miles or more distance. Come the school vacation period, all the children had to make their own way back to their respective family camps, even though they did not know exactly where their families had settled at that point in time. They would start out walking in the general direction, often asking other Maasai families they encountered along the way for shelter, food, and directional help. Lemasolai once took two full weeks to locate his family’s camp.
I can relate. When I was in my second year of college here in the Northeast my family moved to the South due to my father’s job transfer. So one day my parents, younger brother and sister and any and all pets all trucked on southward with me staying back at college. After awhile, with some hefty tuition payments coming due, I set out to find where the family moved to. Now I was what you might call a “classic pain-in-the-butt teen” so I think my parents employed the services of some moonlighting folks who run the Federal witness protection program. It took my private investigators a month to find out their new address in the Atlanta suburbs. OK, I exaggerate – like Lemasolai, it was only two weeks.
I couldn’t resist this classic Blind Faith tune, originally from the short-lived Eric Clapton-Steve Winwood concoction.