Sunday, December 04, 2005


I was thinking about Tanzania a few days ago. For the rest of my life I hope these images slip into my thoughts and linger there for days. This time it was the 3 boys we came upon towards the end of a nature walk we took with our massai escort, Malunga, at Kirurumu Tented Lodge, which is positioned along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley overlooking Lake Manyara.

We almost passed on the nature walk as it was a long day down in Lake Manyara National Park.
But we showered and changed and met Malunga at the reception as the day unwound. We walked through the bush as Malunga pointed out trees and shrubs, birds and small ground animals. He told us what plants were used to create boundaries (fences) to keep predators out, away from their goats, hens and dogs. Also what plants, leaves, or berries, were used for medicinal brew or libation.

When we came upon the edge of the escarpment, overlooking the Great Rift Valley, the magnificent and vast geological formation spanning from Syria in Southeast Asia to Mozambique in East Africa, we snapped many photos and were so glad we didn'’t bail on this.

As the sun lowered in the sky we headed back to camp. We passed huts and goats and held hands as we walked with content smiles on our faces and talked quietly along the way.

I looked up as we turned a bend and saw three young men perched on large stones sitting under a tree. I held Will'’s hand tightly and thought for a second it was a trap, they stood as we approached. Malunga led us towards them and from upon their knees the drew up to their chests what we learned was a two stringed instrument called a zeze (zay zay) and began to play the most lyrical piece. The boy on the left then began to sing and his voice was so clear and beautiful, I wiped the tears from my eyes for the joy of it.
The boy in the middle had a very serious look on his face and a scowl on his brow, but when Malunga motioned for him to sing, his face changed from scowl to coy and with a little trepidation he began to sing and the boy on the left joined him and their combined voices rose into the air. The boy on the right did not sing. Maybe his voice wasn'’t as good as the others, maybe he was too shy.

We thanked them, gave them some shillings for their song, and continued the trek back to camp. Such memories will be with me for the rest of my days.


martha said...

I came to your blog because of the L.A. Times article and I'll be a regular reader. If people don't want to read about your Thanksgiving dinner or your heirloom silver, that's their perogative. I, for one, love your happy little yellow house, your great candlesticks and the inspired table settings. Mostly though, it's nice to hear about your happy marriage. You give us single chicks hope!

Cinnamon Thoughts said...

Welcome Martha. The 3 week Africa trip was our honeymoon. And I'll tell you, I met my husband 2 years ago through, he was my third date, and he's a keeper!