Snake Park, Arusha, Tanzania to Marangu, Tanzania, January 10, 2016
I had a Massai warrior explain his culture to me in the Maasai Cutural Centre. He is very good looking and knowledgeable.
When a spear is in front of the entrance to a home, a warrior is present-
Males are circumcised at 15 as a ritual to introduce them to manhood. They are not allowed to cry and no freezing or painkillers are given-
Once the circumcision has occured, they paint their faces-
For the past 30 years, girls have not been circumcised. Apparently, the "thinking" was that while the husband was away, the woman would 'need' a man and so circumcision kept her faithful. Rest assured I straightened him out on that one! Circumcision was the same way for girls - no freezing and they couldn't cry-
My guide's father had 3 wives but he plans to only have one. Today villages have monthly visits from cultural leaders who explain how to maintain the culture in this modern world of technology and the desire for more education. Herdsman will be hired if the children decide after school that they want to continue a different way of life. Clothing may only be worn for special occasions. He said that he has been to North America and been ridiculed as he walked down the street in his Maasai clothing.
He drinks 2 litres of cow's blood/day for energy and nutrition. A small spear is inserted into the cow's artery to collect the blood-
A single woman dresses differently than a married woman-
The orange object is a hollowed out squash used to carry milk. The single woman loses her round necklace at marriage for other ornamentation.
The only anti-venine hospital in the country is supported by Ma and BJ at Snake Park. People who have been bitten by poisonous snakes come for treatment. Vials of the serum cost $200 and more than one is required-
Snake Park Campground not only has great hot showers but also a cool bar filled with signed t-shirts from other overland groups and visitors-
It has a good display of snakes such as the Southern African Python which can grow to 6 meters in length! It loves water and can fast for up to two years! 2 years! Females can lay up to 100 eggs and the incubation period is 90 days. They kill by constricting but can make a serious wound wth a bite-
The Green Mamba has a neurotoxic venom that must be treated with antivenin. Its average size is 1.5 meters and it spends most of its time in trees-
The Eastern Green Mamba measures 1.5 meters and is extremely venomous too---
The Forrest Cobra grows to 2.2 meters and also has neurotoxic venom-
I am glad all the snakes were behind glass!
We are camping at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro and with any luck we'll have a good view in the morning.