A Maasai in London

The Guardian has a great little feature titled “The Marathon is easy, there are no lions.” For those of you who don’t know, the London Marathon, it’s a regular 42 km marathon with the unique feature that it raises stupid amounts of money for charity.

Apparently last year, they raised nearly 90 million dollars. It’s in this vein that 6 Maasai Warriors from Tanzania (including the village chief) are running in the marathon. They’re trying to raise money for a well in their village.

So the Chief has been keeping a very short diary of his experience in London, and it happens to be the very first time he’s ever left Tanzania.

It’s kind of a shockingly honest opinion of so-called “civilization”, from someone who’d never seen a lot of these things before. Frankly I think he handled it way better than I would have in the same situation. Perhaps that’s the sign of real bravery. The diary also shows remarkable social consciousness of the way people are looking at them.

Here’s a little quote.

Monday April 7: national and international press in Trafalgar Square

All journalists ask the same questions. They ask why you have the strange shoes and shields, about blood, about lions. In Trafalgar Square, they asked: “What do you think about the bronze lion over there?” But what can I say? It’s not a real lion. I don’t mind because we are interesting to them but I am not here to be a show, an exhibition.

Read it, seriously. You’ll love it.

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