I was still getting over my severe disappointment from yesterday. I had anticipated the visit to a Maasai village for weeks and it had fallen short of the accounts I had read. I asked the managers at the Serian Camp more about it after we returned. The village had been chosen based on proximity, not the quality of the experience.
Today’s visit to the regional Maasai school would prove to be completely different and a delightful surprise. It would turn out to be the true highlight of the entire trip!
We would be delivering a donation of school supplies to the principal to distribute in turn to the staff. I had imagined that we would drop off the gift and continue on our way. But he proudly insisted that we tour the school, visiting the classrooms and students who would ultimately receive those items.
We were graciously ushered in and formally introduced room by room to the teachers and their students who all understood English. (In case you hadn’t already figured it out from previous references, this is another vestige of British colonialism). They inquired about where we had come from. It hadn’t occurred to me that we would be interesting to them as foreign visitors.
I was startled to see approximately 100 uniformed first and second graders squeezed 3 or 4 to a desk in one room with 2 teachers. They giggled with delight as I took their photos and showed them the digital images. I thought about these little tykes walking, often barefoot, several miles each day to and from school from their villages. They could easily encounter animals much larger than they were.
Global philanthropy has become a very important concept in world travel. There are opportunities to connect with people in more personal and meaningful ways through participation in community projects, school donations and conservation efforts in many countries today. Volunteer vacations are another increasingly popular way to travel and make a contribution.