Sunday, January 10, 2016

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-

The women's children stay with them.  All 3 women had bandages on their feet.

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 Black Mamba can be 3.5 meters long and is the largest venomous snake in Africa.  Its venom is extremely poisonous and most people who are bitten die-

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.

1 comment:

  1. Did everyone give up all their medical stuff to Ma ?
    I gave up all my malaria pills, didn't need them after here, but you are going a different way from us
    Ma was really grateful for the stuff I handed over (it was all the stuff I had when I went down with that cerebral Malaria, plus I had loads of over the counter stuff, lots of plasters and wipes
    I read you entries after this

    I said you would be blown away with the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara

    I was blown away how big the Serengeti, I don't think any camera can catch the sheer size of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater

    Like you I thought all 3 place was the best part of the trip (but you have more to look forward to (don't try to pick a favourite, they are all fantastic places and each has their own beauty)

    It was the wild dogs that raked out the bins in the Serengeti camp ground, the hyenas waited until the dogs had finished then they got what was left, paid no interest in me at all, even though I was a matter of yards away, but I didn't take any photos, last thing I wanted was to be the main attraction on the menu

    Yup, Zebras, horses in pyjamas, you will be seeing lots of them as you go along, there will be many different/species giraffes though, but all with the same basic camouflage pattern


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