In August 2019, my family travelled to Kenya. During our stay we had high hopes of getting some time with the Mayas people. This was eventually made possible through Colin Murray and his team of extraordinary human beings. All started off well, as are the hopes of any tourist undertaking, general en-route chit-chat, the sharing of life stories, how they/we got there, window staring, etc. A very warm atmosphere all around.
Upon arriving at the home of the Maasai, we were greeted warmly. There was something there though that was different yet familiar - instantly. You would expect a degree a hospitality from a group who routinely sees tourists pass through their lives, but as the day and events unfolded, the genuine open-ness, warmth, patience, integrity of this Maasai group...started to crack any unrelated boundaries and make you specifically wonder if there was not a deeper connection between you and them. I can only speak for myself, but I felt closer to them within two hours than I have with many blood relatives and people I call good friends at home. These Maasai retain something lost by many, something that I do not typically see in places I've been. A genuineness. An inviting nature, that is clearly contagious. So much so that as you start to dwell on time, you begin to realise that your day there must end soon, and this reality with these newly met friends must discontinue so that you may return to the touring vehicle. It is not a good feeling because your person wants to know more of them, how they go through each day, what trials have they seen, what are their thoughts on this ever-changing world, who have they loved and lost, how do they engage the sun as it rises each day. Even in writing this, and again I only speak for myself, I feel their loss that I have put away like someone attempting to release grief through meditation. I wholeheartedly wanted to shed my belongings and stay, right then, to understand them and myself more. My wife and two children (8 & 10) felt the same on the return, the only part of the journey which brought forth silence during the ride.
The Maasai, Colin and all the members of this organisation have forever raised the bar of what I hope to find as I see more of this world. I wish them, our Maasai friends, and you the very best in your discoveries and adventures. We WILL be returning to see our lost family. Until then, I'll look upon our physical gifts of adornment from them and remember their faces.