Virtual Continent Hopping -Arusha Tanzania

30 day-
We’re staying at Arusha Serena Hotel and Resort Spa.……

As dawn breaks over the horizon, we serenely drift over the magnificent marvel of nature, The Serengeti, enjoying an eagle’s eye view of the wildlife theater as it unfolds below. We have ample opportunities to spot wildlife from a different perspective. If we’re fortunate, we migh spot the Big Five: Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, and Rhino, as well as giraffe, zebra, hippo, crocodile and a variety of bird life.We were assured out game viewing opportunities from the sky are endless. Following our balloon flight, we celebrated with sparkling wine and a splendid bush breakfast in the middle of the Serengeti, capping off what is sure to be a most memorable morning in the skies of Africa.

The Maasai called the plains of Serengeti National Park “the place where the land moves on forever”—so prepare to be astonished by its vastness. I have to agree wholeheartedly. It’s incredible. I can’t get over how playful the zebra. The zebra’s bushy tail seems to flicker steadily, I wondered if they’re swatting flies like horses do. I’ve seen giraffes in zoos but actually seeing them in their own habitat I understand better the challenges they face to exist. I was surprised how loud the elephants tusks were when they playing. I was so surprised by the little black marks on the water were actually hippos. Their ears are so small in proportion to their bodies. I chuckled at the antics of the leopards, reminded me of my own fur babies. Both trying to be in one spot at the same time.

The food preparation was really fast and tasted so good. Who knew riding in a balloon could make one hungry..

The afternoon we’ll be enjoying some of the awesome amenities at our hotel before the BCoF people take us to our next adventure.

BCoF Bonus:
With the help of local Maasai Mama’s we will be guided through a number of traditional Swahili recipes to prepare your own lunch. We will learn how the local Mama’s prepare food at home using traditional cooking equipment and methods. 
We will learn some Swahili words for different foods and be able to get hands-on help to prepare each dish.

During the food prep our conversation veered to why young women undergo excision (“female circumcision”, “female genital mutilation,” “emorata”) as part of an elaborate rite of passage ritual called “Emuatare,” the ceremony that initiates young Maasai girls into adulthood through ritual circumcision and then into early arranged marriages. I was relieved to hear that the practice has recently been replaced in some instances by a “cutting with words” ceremony involving singing and dancing in place of the mutilation. However, the practice remains deeply ingrained and valued by the culture. The Maa word for circumcision, “emorata,” is used for both female and male genital mutilation. Female genital cutting is illegal in both Kenya and Tanzania.

I’m glad our focus had to return to the food. Just thinking about the horrors women faced in this environment was making me very uncomfortable.  I’m glad the women made the food prep so much fun.The sweet potato omelet was so good. I tried the bean stew has well. Yummy!

We will learn about how Maasai build their homes and how traditional Maasai homes are set up in a “boma”.
We will see inside the homes and how they live.

“As a historically nomadic and then semi-nomadic people, the Maasai have traditionally relied on local, readily available materials and indigenous technology to construct their housing. The traditional Maasai house was in the first instance designed for people on the move and was thus very impermanent in nature. The houses are either somewhat rectangular shaped with extensions or circular, and are constructed by able-bodied women. The structural framework is formed of timber poles fixed directly into the ground and interwoven with a lattice of smaller branches wattle, which is then plastered with a mix of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung, human urine, and ash. The cow dung ensures that the roof is waterproof. The enkaj or engaji is small, measuring about 3 × 5 m and standing only 1.5 m high. Within this space, the family cooks, eats, sleeps, socializes, and stores food, fuel, and other household possessions.”~ wikipeida  I looked at some of the dwellings, I am so thankful that I don’t live in one of them.

Maasai society is still strongly patriarchal in nature, with elder men, sometimes joined by retired elders, deciding most major matters for each Maasai group.” A full body of oral law covers many aspects of behavior. For Maasai living a traditional life, the end of life is one virtually without ceremony, and the dead are left out for scavengers.Just the thought of being eaten by whatever just horrifies me. A corpse rejected by scavengers is seen as having something wrong with it, and liable to cause social disgrace; therefore, it is not uncommon for bodies to be covered in fat and blood from a slaughtered ox. However, their pastoral lifestyle has become increasingly difficult due to outside influences of the modern world. I was surprised to read how many Maasai have actually moved away from the nomadic life to positions in commerce and government. Yet despite the sophisticated urban lifestyle they may lead, many happily head homewards dressed in designer clothes, only to emerge from the traditional family homestead wearing a shuka (colourful piece of cloth), cow hide sandals and carrying a wooden club (o-rinka) – at ease with themselves.” ~wikipedia
I know when I get home, it’s hello sweat pants and tee-shirt. My favorite home attire is so comfortable.


We will learn how Maasai create their own beaded jewellery and go away from the workshop with your very own bracelet.

“Beadworking, done by the women, it has a long history among the Maasai, who articulate their identity and position in society through body ornaments and body painting. Before contact with Europeans, the beads were produced mostly from local raw materials. White beads were made from clay, shells, ivory, or bone. Black and blue beads were made from iron, charcoal, seeds, clay, or horn. Red beads came from seeds, woods, gourds, bone, ivory, copper, or brass. When late in the nineteenth century, great quantities of brightly colored European glass beads arrived in Southeast Africa, beadworkers replaced the older beads with the new materials and began to use more elaborate color schemes. Currently, dense, opaque glass beads with no surface decoration and a naturally smooth finish are preferred.” ~wikipeida

Vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free options can be catered for in the recipes. We’re cooking our dinner and learning how to make beaded jewelry together. How cool is that?

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.…

August 17 Arusha,Tanzania‎
Prompt: Write a story or poem about your Miracle Experience Balloon Safaris | Serengeti…

A poem, she says… a limerick will have to do.

Flying over the Serengeti
So much at once I drop my yeti
The guide said we no stop
It was to far to hop
Damn, I was so thirsty and sweaty.

* yeti=

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