One of our first adventures in Tanzania was visiting a Masaii village a few hours outside of Arusha. The people there live very primitive lives, in dung huts without electricity or running water. I was fascinated by their culture and way of life, but was reminded of how fortunate we are to have the conveniences and opportunities we do in North America.
The curious little girl in the picture came right up to me and took my hand. It’s sad to know that her life is pretty much decided for her: when she is a teenager she will be subjected to female circumcision and married off to an older man who probably will have many other wives. She will build a dung hut for herself (which her husband will visit when he feels like it), take care of the children, haul water for drinking and washing, and cook the food her husband provides.
By then, she will have long forgotten the white lady from Canada who visited her village. But it will be a very long time before I forget the feeling of her tiny hand in mine, and the brief visit I made to a world very different from my own.