Our first full day in the Mara we spent at the site of our water pipeline project at the Saaten primary school. The team met the teachers and students who welcomed us with a traditional song and dance performance, inviting all of us to join in. Our students got their first taste of a Maasai community meeting under a tree, introduced the kids to “duck-duck-goose” and finally got to work, chipping away at the hard earth with members of the local community.
By the end of the day the first blisters had started to develop on all of our hands after swinging the pick axe, pounding the ground with a jimbe or scraping away at the stubborn earth with a long Maasai ‘sword’. The availability of tools was the bottleneck but the locals are very good at finding ways to make due with what they have.
The Saaten students were happy to help and pitched in scooping out the loosened dirt and rocks and helping to ferry pipe to the tank.
We were all ready for the hearty dinner that was waiting for us back at camp by the time evening came. It was a great day to kick off the project and everyone went to bed with a smile and the faces of new friends in their hearts.