Gracias a Filip y mama.
Lions, elephants, cheetahs and all other fauna that we saw on the savanna were incredible. However, the stories of the Maasai people and understanding their view of the world was far more exciting. Now, five months after the trip, it is still their stories that have stayed with me and impacted me the most. Far more than any lion’s roar.
Epadey has killed a lion. With a blunt knife. When I ask him why, he says it is tradition. It is a testament to his courage, strength and – indirectly – an indication of his ability to take care of a woman. He tells us this lion-killing ritual is very important. We ask him how many fail and lose their lives in the process. He is silent for a long moment. He looks down on the ground, he’s thinking.
“My little brother didn’t make it”.
We all stand in silence, we assume that his little brother died. “Yeah, he was scared shitless and ran home. But momma wouldn’t let him in the house until he had finished the job.” I wonder what I would have preferred, given the choice. The normal demands put upon me by my own mother, study to a university-level, get a job, husband and kids. Or go out on the savanna on my sixteenth birthday and kill a lion.
Killing a lion seems less time-consuming.
Agnes’ gender has been mutilized. With a blunt knife. When I ask her why, she says it is tradition. It is a testament to her courage, virginity and an insurance to the fact that sex will be so painful that she will only be able to do it in “case of emergency” – i.e. with her husband for reproductive purposes. When we walk with her towards the village we ask her how she truly feels about female genital mutilation, or FGM.
“I’m proud of myself for having done it. It hurt, but in the same way childbirth hurts – in the name of something good and worth it. When I get a husband it will please him so.” She continues talking about how it is a shame that the Kenyan government has their noses up the Maasai traditions. “Do you see us, come to Nairobi and try to change things up? No! And yet they move us around like cattle, change our values and our lifestyle”. I think about the ironic fact that she herself has been converted from Masaai beliefs to Catholicism in exchange for medicin and other types of safeties that the missionaries provide. She says she can tell that one day I will wake up to the truth of God and become a good christian.
I wonder how the pope feels about female genital mutilation.
All the pain Agnes has to have gone through, and is going through on a day-to-day basis for the aesthetic viewing pleasure of a future husband, I can’t imagine it. And I start think of how all women suffer to be considered beautiful. However, I think you have to draw the line way before genital mutilation.
It’s Thursday. I wake up at 8:00. I eat breakfast, go to literature class and then I go back to my room.
And I sleep.
For a good three hours. And I dream of such wonderful things as travel, languages, friends and it all ends beautifully. I see you. You’ve cut your hair. You look cute. You come up to me and hold me in your arms. Kiss me on the cheek and tell me how lovely I am. And I feel so loved and so safe.
Our brains are amazing. In reality – I was only lying down in a dark room. But I wake up feeling so overjoyed, relaxed and loved – even though nothing has really happened. It is our perception and attitude towards to our circumstances that shape our surroundings and experience.
To th 2nd part of this post – what I’m purchasing in February!
1. A 13-Inch Macbook Pro with added 16GB memory.
2. New Urbanears
That is all for now. I’m going for my second nap now
It’s Wednesday night. The game kicks off in five minutes and I’m sort of passive-aggressively stressing out over the fact that I have so much work to do, homework and jobs. Other than buying more Coke tomorrow, I have nothing that I want to do. I.e. I have nothing to procrastinate with.
So I study computer sciences and wait for Radio Barca to begin.
The comments are in Catalan. This means I will understand 23% of this… Mom’s calling. She hasn’t called for weeks. I should take this call, regardless of the game.
We talk about my ongoing insomnia, ambitions and new business ideas.
Minute ’36 – she’s tired. I return to the game. Missed the first goal by Fábregas (15′)
Half-time: I hear the Camp playing “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” by M83. It’s a sign. I have to make a psychedelic video to that chanson.
81′ Xavi. 92′ Game over. We win.
Barcelona, April 2011.
Thanks to my dearest friends and listening to old Shakira songs – I’m getting back on track. The fun, passionate, borderline obsessive, playful, happy, driven and enthusiastic track. The one where I don’t exclude shizzle I like doing. Going for it. Being more slogan-like. Just do it. Impossible is nothing. Connecting people. I’m lovin’ it. I can do both sides of the track.
Elephant-riding and writings short stories. Day trade stocks and jump out of airplanes. Party and get business contacts. Studying by a pool. Web designing from skyscrapers of Vietnam. Train dynamic running and Italian. I forgot the feeling of being excited about awesome things.
Hot dang it – I’ll take all that back. Plus interest.
I’ll watch Barcelona play in the Camp Nou again. I’ll sit in cafés in Milano again.
And no, being interested in the stories is not the same as forcing yourself to listen to something because you want to get with someone.