We flew to the Maasai Mara in this tiny little plane and I WAS SO NERVOUS! I had only been in a little charter plane like that once before (Remember when I went to Bolivia for my brothers wedding!?) and I got kinda air sick! So I was praying that I would have better luck this time. We got on board and it was so awesome because the pilot turned around and gave us the safety brief! Haha! It was insane to be sitting on the back row of the plane and to see right out of the front windshield as we lifted off the runway! It was crazy because it was like being on a public transit bus route… We kept landing to pick up more people from villages in the middle of no where, and then taking back off! So as you can imagine… I GOT SO SICK! Hahhaha pretty sure I used everyones barf bags on the plane, not sure if that’s TMI, but it was so hilarious and classic. I’m over here puking, while everyone is looking out the windows like, “Oh my gosh!! Do you see the giraffes!?” Every stop I would run out and find a place to dispose my bags, then have to get back on board! Hahha seriously my personal hell. 😉 We finally got to the Maasai Mara, and it was INCREDIBLE! Our plane hit the dirt runway, and I could see our new friends Jackson and Wilson waiting for our arrival out the plane window. They greeted us with big hugs, and were so overwhelmingly kind! It all felt like I was in a total dream!
On our first day, I asked Jackson (on the right) how old he was, and he replied, “I believe I’m about 27 or 28.” – I tried not to show it in my expression, but I was blown away that in the Maasai community they don’t record birth dates or obtain birth certificates. He laughed and told me that he had to make up a birthdate to get his passport not too long ago! As the trip went on, both Jackson & Wilson’s stories unfolded… At a young age they aspire to become a warrior and a protector of their village. They undergo burns, tooth extraction, circumcision, without flinching to test their strength. For their final test around age 16, they are sent to a cave with their leaders to prepare to slay a lion. At this same time both Jackson and Wilson were introduced to academic education, and decided to go to school as well. So not only were they studying for their exams, but they also had the preparation of slaying a lion at the same time! I was like, “Whaaaaaat!?” ? Especially because they are my same age. I’m so inspired because both of them successfully gained proper education, and managed to pass their final test in the Maasai community, by slaying a lion! Talk about STRENGTH. The coolest part of the whole story, is that they showed the Maasai community the importance of education, and how it, in of itself, gives you “strength”. So now, the community changed their final test to become a warrior. It’s no longer having to slay a lion, but to get an academic education. These two are making history, and I’m so privileged to know them. ❤️
^^ We couldn’t get too close to the rhino so the guard helped us get the shot! Hahah so awesome! ^^
^^ Brad teaching the Maasai Warriors how to fly the drone! ^^
^^ And the Massai Warriors taught us how to slay a lion… 😉 ^^
^^ I was so impressed as we walked around the local farm in the Masaai Mara! This farm provides nutritious food for school lunches and for the entire community, & the Mon Amie Food Watch supports programs that teach sustainable farming techniques. ^^
^^ Nothing beats the sunsets in Kenya. ^^
^^ The girls at Kisaruni were BEAMING with confidence. I think its because they are the first generation in their community with the opportunity to get a formal education. Their excitement to learn was so inspiring to me. ^^
We had the opportunity to go to Kenya last month, and I’m still pinching myself that this really happened! Kenya was everything that I thought it would be, and more. I loved spending time with so many incredible people. Not only with the people of Kenya, but the Fossil team who are passionately working behind this new brand, Mon Amie. I’m excited to share our perspective of this trip alongside Mon Amie, and how they are making an impact in the community of Maasai Mara. They’re creating sustainability through opportunity, clean water, health, education, and food in the most inspiring ways.
Read about our water walk with Mama Jane, here!