Around the World With the ArvaMonts
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Masai Warriors and Such
In Tanzania we stayed in the Swala Camp within the Tarangire National Park. And “camp” is not a term used lightly. We slept in tents, albeit luxury tents! They were the size of a smallish hotel room, a cramped Holiday Inn, if you will. There was a double bed (or two singles for the kids), night stands, a small desk and two suitcase racks (so already one better than a Holiday Inn!), a coat rack, a shelf/hanging unit and a towel stand. We also had a shower, a toilet and a large sink, with hot and cold running water. The water tanks were nicely disguised a short distance outside the tents, and would have been invisible, except that the water heater used wood, so we could smell the fire whenever the water was being heated. This added to the overall camp ambiance.
Less campy was the mess tent, which served three course gourmet food in abundance! We always saved room for roasted marshmallows by the campfire, however!
This camp was located within the national park, which is known for having such things as leopards, elephants and lions. These wandered freely through our back yard. There were no fences. This meant that you had to be careful when moving about outside. No leaving the paths! And after dark, you had to be escorted. Who to escort you? The camp had in it’s employ at least two Masai warriors. They provided the escort.
Now what do you picture a Masai warrior looks like? Well, let me tell you, though it is hard to get a good look, as he hangs in the shadows. He wears the traditional garment, which looks like brightly colored red and purple plaid fabric wound around himself several times like a Greek toga. He carries with him a mean looking spear. He also wears Converse Allstar sneakers and carries a high powered flashlight!
When you want to move about the camp, you signal the Masai using your flashlight and they are there in a flash! Just before dusk one evening, Tasha ran from our tent to hers to grab something. The Masai was waiting to accompany her on the trip – Busted!
So the question that Anika asks is a good one. They are afraid I am going to be attacked by a leopard, and so they send a man with a spear to protect me?
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