MWCT hosted an amazing group of 50+ students here at HQ and 5 teachers from Naisula School (Kajiado) and Skagerak International High School for a week. They spent beautiful evenings in their tents in the wilderness and have heard lions roar, walked transects with our MWCT Community Rangers, visited the children and families at one of the local Maasai villages to learn how to do Maasai beadwork! Below are a few of the snapshots from their stay with us 🙂
“Day 2 Skagerak Kenya Trip
Today started with a 5 hour bus ride way into the interior and we arrived at the Maasai Conservation Camp this afternoon and were warmly greeted by the staff. We settled into our 2, 3 and 4 man tents and were given a briefing about what to expect and safety in the wilderness of Africa. We were treated to a traditional Kenyan dinner Nyama Choma (roasted goat) and beautiful Maasai dance. We have a beautiful view of Mt. Kilimanjaro off in the distance. As I write this, we are all in our tents, the camp silent, only the sounds of African wildlife in the night, the roar of a lion resonating.”
“Day 3 Skagerak Kenya Trip
Another incredible day. Started the day with a briefing on the work that the Conservation Trust does. We then spent the better part of the day out on foot patrol with the Maasai Scouts tracking the wildlife. One of the groups came across part of the tusk of an elephant that had been broken off in a fight between two bulls. This had to be cataloged and processed by the rangers to keep it off the black market. We also came across recent elephant and lion tracks…. The students pushed themselves in this physically challenging endeavor in the hot sun on the African plains. In the late afternoon we visited a Maasai Boma (village) where the students engaged with the women and children of the village in playing games, dance and local crafts. An emotional and powerful experience for them, and the students’ engagement was wonderful to observe. I really am proud of them.”
“Day 4: Skagerak Kenya Trip
Today we spent the day at the local primary school that serves the local community, over 1100 students (!) with only 18 teachers (!!). 10 of these teachers are paid for by the Maasai Wildlife Conservation Trust. This organization is doing incredible work, and we are very fortunate to be part of this for the days we are here. Our students painted the school buildings, taught classes and played volleyball, football and netball with the primary children. Some of our students visited the local clinic located on the compound. The clinic, also sponsored by the Trust, has one doctor and two nurses and serves a community of 10,000….The children then entertained us with poetry, stories and dance. At the end of the day we presented the 8th graders with solar powered calculators generously donated by a Skagerak parent.”
“Day 5: Skagerak Kenya Trip
Immediately after breakfast we loaded up in vans and jeeps and went in to the local town to work on collecting garbage and cleaning up around the town. It was wonderful to see all the little children get excited and join in. We could see a marked difference when we left. After lunch back at the camp we watched the documentary “The Ivory Game”, a powerful insight into the cruel and unscrupulous black market trade. After an early dinner, we again loaded up into the vehicles and headed out into the night to participate in the lion collaring experience. We drove way into the bush and then the wait began….The team of conservation experts and Maasai scouts set up the area and began blaring sounds of a cow in distress to lure in the pride…our vehicles waiting a safe distance away in pitch black and absolute silence, as to not disturb the process. The wait lasted for two hours until all of a sudden we heard the roar of a lion over the cattle call blaring from speakers. We heard the whole thing unfold over the CB radio, excited chatter back and forth and then we were called in so we could see for ourselves. Our vehicles sped through the savanna, bouncing back and forth, hyenas, also lured in by the sounds of a cow in distress, running back and forth in front of our headlights. We arrived at the site, and there she was, a beautiful lioness, completely under, carefully monitored by a vet, while the collar was attached around her neck. The site was surrounded by vehicles with their headlights pointed out into the night, and Maasai scouts surrounding the perimeter to keep any other lions and hyenas at bay. They brought us out in small groups to come over and see and touch the lioness, as well as ask questions about the process. A truly powerful and amazing experience, one of a lifetime! Again, I can not say this enough, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust is doing incredible work out here, largely unrecognised, protecting these majestic creatures through sustainable conservation and economic development that serves the people of this entire region.”
“Day 6 Skagerak International School
In the morning we all set out in vehicles and were driven out to the foot of one of the dormant volcanos. We proceeded on a steep climb straight up the side, “Besseggen” style, led by the Maasai scouts….these guys move fast, even though they were taking it “easy” on us city folks. When we arrived at the top, we had a spectacular view of the savannah surrounding us. In the late afternoon, we were treated to a short game drive into the bush in the hopes of finding elephants. The drivers, seasoned trackers, knew what they were doing, and after speeding and bouncing through the bush, we found three of them walking across a ridge. Absolutely amazing!”
Day 7 and 8 Kenya Skagerak Trip
“In the morning we were driven out to see the Grasslands Reseeding Project, including the seed bank, cultivated areas and the swamp area that supplies water to man and animal. This project is another cornerstone in the conservation work that goes on here. In the afternoon a number of our students were interviewed about their experiences in the time here and these interviews will be up on the Trust’s website and linked to our social media platforms. This was our last full day and we ended with a bonfire where we all sat around talking singing and reflecting on the last few days. In the morning we packed up camp and boarded the bus to start the long voyage home. The goodbyes were emotional after such a wonderful and impactful experience we all have had. We would like to extend a huge thank you to the staff at the Maasai Wildlife Conservation Trust for affording us such an incredible opportunity, including Wilbur, Ian, George, Titus, Tricia, and everyone else. Jambo Sana!!”
Many thanks to Joergen Glittenberg for the posts 🙂 We had such a wonderful time hosting these wonderful students and their teachers, we only hope they’ve been inspired in some way to work towards a more sustainable future!
Video interviews will be up on the blog soon… stay tuned!
Team MWCT xo