After spending the early part of the day with the Riubi school, we heading in another direction about 1 hour + away from Meru to the countryside.
One of the pracitces that many tribes still participate in is circumcision of the young males at about age 14. It is a rite of passage thing for them. (ouch?) And if you cry or fuss about it..you are labled for the rest of your life as "a cry baby". Or if you are strong enough not to respond you may be labled as "strong and courageous".
Unfortunately one of the other things many also still participate in is FGM (female genital mutliation) this can be anything from "simply" circumcision of the little girls (age 2 or even older) to much more graphic things like mutilating them to the extent that they sew the girl up and cut "things" off so they will never desire things in the future. I don't want to get too graphic but these practices do still go on all over Africa. Education is needed. But traditions die hard. Education is beginning in the younger generations, but the older generations still make it difficult on the younger ones if they don't participate.
When we arrived close to the area where we were going to see the Tribal peoples, we drove into a compound built by the Catholic Church. They were doing a camp for the young boys who may have already experienced circumcision. It was an educational thing to teach them that it is not a "necessary" procedure and to try to also educate them about the fact that it is not necessary to do these things to the girls and women.
We picked up a man (I can't remember his name because is was tribal and I stink at that). He was rasied in this area and was also Turkana but didn't wear the clothing, etc. of the people. He is 20 years old and is currently studying to be a doctor and wants to return to this area to serve the people of his community. You really cannot go to the tribal areas without someone like this with you. It's a rare occassion to be "allowed in".
um...yes, this looks funny, but the people offered "something" to Isaac to 'try'. We still don't really know what it was, but he said he felt it's affects for just a brief time. lol.
Yes it is a Boys Scouts of America shirt. lol Someone must have donated clothing at some point to this tribe...lol I'm still laughing about this. We have been told that their are Boys Scouts everywhere. Well, here ya go. =)
I left here a little dazed.
It was hard to register in my brain that we live in a time of such oppulence in our culture.
Such basic things as water within reach.
Let's not even talk about electricity or refrigeration.
Yet, these people survive. They have strong family ties and traditions. In our culture family is often divided and miles separate us. I think we both have things to offer one another. I go to visit here and I'm forced to realize these kinds of people are not from history. They are current to today. There is caution in entering into their world for a brief moment like this and taking pictures. It is not to exploit them or to somehow raise ourselves up to a higher level than they are but to find the things that are the same between us and learn from one another.
They are beautiful.
They have strong family ties.
Their lives are simple in many ways.
Hard working, but simple.
When we returned home. And I had my first good nights sleep in my bed, I looked around my bedroom and realized, the dimensions of my bedroom are larger than the homes these people live in with many people living together. Then I had a dream that there was a huge sign on our house that said "SOLD"--painted across our house. It was a very vivid dream. I was making plans to move. What's that about?