- website: https://youcaring.com/MountSuswaMaasai
- bio: wildwoman. empath. nomad. truthseeker. sunsetchaser. stargazer. plantlover. moonchild. currently: kenya.
↘ Help Bring Clean, Safe Water to Mt. Suswa ↙
- number of photos: 2078
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Leyian (2) and Mariamu (9) and their perfect smiles. 😍 So much love in this photo! ❤ www.YouCaring.com/MountSuswaMaasai ❤
Meet Mama G! We were enjoying the shade outside of my manyatta. ❤ You can't tell here, but she is VERY pregnant. We've become fast friends and she gets most of my food scraps and vegetable peelings each day from lunch and dinner preparation. 😊 She doesn't really like to share, but I don't mind considering she's growing new life in her big ol' belly. Don't you just love her smile?
Nasirian and her older brother Moyiaye during one of my favorite times of the day; when the kids and I climb down inside the crater during golden hour each evening for stunning views and perfect light. ❤
Daniel and I took Nasirian to the campsite of Mount Suswa near the rim of the outer crater of this beautiful volcano for the first time today. Needless to say, we were both very happy to be there. 😊 This sweet girl brings me so much joy! Every day she runs to me and jumps into my arms and gives me the biggest hug. She giggles like a maniac ALL the time and I absolutely love it. Her favorite thing is to be chased around until you catch her and tickle her til she's on the ground laughing uncontrollably. She dances and sings at any time of the day. She LOVES having her photo taken and for me to record her dancing. She loves bananas and dates and mandazi, which are big treats for her as food is a one hour drive or four hour walk away. The three dollar shoes you see on her feet made her eyes light up and she smiled the biggest smile I've ever seen, same for her donated dress. She's smart and funny and sweet and everyone deserves to know a child like her. 💜
Unfortunately, education for women in Maasai culture isn't valued much. One of my goals here is to send every girl to school so she becomes an empowered, independent woman who can end the cycle of poverty that carries on from one generation to the next in many families. If you'd like to contribute to a school uniform or sponsor Nasirian's school fees for each term so she receives a proper education, please direct message me! Your generosity is so appreciated.
Here's to hoping you smiled this big today. 😀
I love when my friends come to visit! 😊 Though it's sometimes a nuisance to chase the chickens, dogs, goats, donkeys, sheep and cows out of my manyatta all day (yes, they come inside my tiny home... often), I love that they feel comfortable enough to come around me, as they are generally scared of humans. They know exactly where to come for lots of love, comfort and, of course, food and water!
Being vegan and having a deep understanding of the value of every being on the planet, I have a VERY hard time with how animals are treated in Maasailand. The belief and attitude is that their lives don't matter, and they're simply (and sadly) used as tools for income and survival. Emphasis on the word "used". They are treated so very poorly most of the time due to tradition and lack of education, but I can say the same for animals in Western countries as well.
In fact, animals are treated so much worse in "more advanced" societies. At least these guys get to roam free most of their lives, whereas most cows and chickens across the globe live in deplorable conditions and endure lives of torture and misery just to produce a glass a milk or to become the food on your plate.
I digress... Not a bad view from my 'front door,' eh? 😍
When it rains in Suswa... The Mount Suswa Conservancy has been in drought for many years. The land is mostly arid & we very rarely get rain. Due to drought, many Maasai have lost some or all of their livestock, leaving their families impoverished & unable to buy food or pay school fees, continuing the cycle of malnourished, uneducated children who grow into uneducated adults without much opportunity to create a better life for themselves.
Years ago, the women of this community of over 3,000 Maasai in desperate need of water for their families and their livestock (most Maasai's only source of income) created a system to trap the volcanic steam (most of the conservancy lies within a double crater volcano system, Mount Suswa) from the ground & use PVC pipes to condense the steam into water & direct that water into a large tank. These water systems are called EMPAKAAs and have been revolutionary for the families who can afford to build them.
Which presents another problem. Many Maasai struggle to feed their families & pay school fees, meaning they have absolutely nowhere near enough money to build an empakaa which would undoubtedly end this cycle of poverty & lack of education. The first empakaa we've constructed has cost around $2,000, way over our budget of $1,200. Thankfully, though our first fundraising goal was only $1,200, we did secure the rest needed in a rather short period of time, thanks to many incredibly generous & kind hearted donors around the world (that's you guys!). So, the Sempui family is only a few days away from having their own empakaa, which is GREAT news! But there are so many more families who need help, and my biggest concern at this time is bringing water to the local school.
If you feel these Maasai students deserve water to drink while sitting in their boiling hot classrooms, and to wash their hands after using the restroom at school which helps to prevent spreading illness, please follow the link below (also in bio) to donate & share our campaign: 💜 www.YouCaring.com/MountSuswaMaasai 💜
Please remember, no donation is too small & every single dollar counts!
Now let's get some clean, safe water to these kids, shall we? 😊
Two of my favorite things: dirty feet and PUPPIES. 😍 When I say "Hi Puppy," I'm talking to the older brother who was the only puppy til just a few weeks ago... I haven't given names to the newborns yet. Aren't they all so perfect?!
"Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself."
// Make the Ordinary Come Live, William Martin
We sent Sanaipei off to boarding school in Naivasha a few weeks ago and each day that passes feels a little more empty without her here. 😢 Unfortunately, leaving Mount Suswa is the only way to get a proper education at this time. The few children who get sponsors for boarding school tuition are incredibly blessed with a wonderful opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and uneducated adults, a cycle which plagues many Maasai communities from one generation to the next.
Sanaipei is one of the smartest and toughest young girls I know, she has the biggest heart, and I'm so proud and happy she has this opportunity to expand on her gifts and talents. But, dammit, I miss her SO much. She always had me laughing, her smile and love for life are both very contagious, and she taught me something new about Mount Suswa everyday. She kept watch over all of her brothers and cousins, making sure everyone was taken care of at all times. She has endless amounts of energy and can play alllll day.
I was looking through hundreds of photos tonight of me and the kids, with Sanaipei present in most of those up until a few weeks ago... I became painfully aware of how quickly things change and people can just disappear from our day to day lives. I truly can't believe how often this has happened in my life - I see and spend time with someone everyday for a significant amount of time, and then all of the sudden, they're gone from my life. It happens often, and it never gets any easier... Of course I'll see Sanaipei again, but nothing compares to her being here with her family, running around barefoot all day on the only land she's ever known. I can't wait for her to come home! /midnight nostalgia.
This is where I come to pray. To write. To cry. To breathe deeply. To observe. To be silent.
This is where stillness speaks.
We never needed to go to church, the mosque or temple to find God... The Divine is everywhere. Our job is only to notice it.
With water being so scarce around here, the opportunity to wash our clothes makes us verrry happy. And walking back to our manyattas during golden hour? Even better. 😊
"Rise and shine. I've always held such fondness for that sweet old phrase. As though we are all little Suns. As though we are all someone's Day." - Beau Taplin
This is what waking up in Mount Suswa looks like. ❤
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