A Tanzanian Perspective From a Local Community

Tanzania, an East African country mostly known for its vast wilderness areas and expansive wildlife immersion, was one of my most notable trips in 2015. Included in the plains of Maasai Mara National Reserve , a safari mecca populated by the elephant lion, buffalo, rhino, and leopard, as well as the Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s tallest mountain, there was plenty for me to see and experience during my time there.

While I stayed in Tanzania back in March 2015, I had the pleasure of staying at the Massai Lodge, owned and operated by Africa Amini. Located in the middle of the wilderness of the Massai steppe, this accommodation included seven bungalows with handcrafted furniture and of course, an unmistakable view of Kilimanjaro. Behind it resides the border of Kenya, where the Massai people have lived for thousands of years. The area as a whole is a culturally rich place to get to know the Massai people’s traditions and rituals, together with the bonding experiences.

In my Massai House at the Massai Lodge, I even had a toilet that overlooked the view at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Talk about an entertaining and breathtaking experience.

This place is as unique as it sounds. Whilst there, I had the chance to attend a local circumcision ceremony, called Emuratta by the Massai. While it occurred, the Massai women slaughtered a goat and the warriors showed off their dancing skills nearby. I asked about gender roles in this society, and was told it’s normal for the women to build the home, clean, take care of the children, and prepare food while men attend to the more lofty entertaining jobs like dancing, hunting, and guarding the society.

In addition to the Massai circumcision, I ventured to the village of Africa Amini Alama, home to the local elementary school and hospital. Uniquely special, this hospital was operated by two Austrian women, volunteering their time to take care of the locals. It was this kind of empathy and compassion I witnessed in African that made me love it even more.

Though my experience was full of unforgettable sights and cultural perceptions, it is worth noting that Kenya and Tanzania are home to a new kind of sexing industry – one that involves older white women from Europe traveling to these regions to sleep with the young men. Covered in an Austrian movie “Paradise: Love” from Paradise Trilogy, the film explores the cross-cultural exchanges, and shows a group of middle-aged female sex tourism veterans on a sex-tourism excursion looking for carnal satisfaction. Sad and disgusting!

 

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