We went out to Masai land on Friday to bring Bahati to visit his family (and extended family). The trip takes about 3 hours and in some places the road is very very bad. But it was so totally worth it.
Back story on Bahati… Bahati is about 18 months old. The day he was born (out in this village) his mother died of complications and his uncle helped bring him into town, to Neema, with his good friend Edward. Edward is a local school teacher who is originally from this village but has quite a few connections in town, including with Neema House. He knew Bahati would never survive without his mother’s milk and so he advised the family to bring Bahati to Neema. The trip took about 6 hours for them without a personal car, and Bahati arrived at Neema well but was quite small. From then, very few family and friends have been able to see Bahati as the trip is very difficult. His uncle came to Neema last week and asked us to please bring Bahati to visit. So we made the plan, packed up a bag, and set off on Friday.
We picked up Edward in a nearby village on the main road to help us navigate the way to the village. Edward told us that there were some people in the village who didn’t believe Bahati could still be alive. They didn’t know how a baby could live without it’s mother. We received such a warm welcome when we arrived. Everyone was so excited to see Bahati and the strange wazungu (white people) he came with. Bahati was a champion and behaved so well. I believe reintegrating him in this community will come quite easily.
We learned that Bahati’s mother had 4 older children before Bahati. The oldest is maybe 6 and the youngest was about 3. Bahati’s father’s second wife also has three children so there would be many kids to look out for Bahati. From here we walked to the next home where Bahati’s aunt had just given birth!
We had been told by Edward when we picked him up that this woman had just given birth and was very excited for us to come and meet her new baby. It is considered a huge honor to have wazungu (white people) visit on the birth of a child. This woman had given birth here in this home, with the assistance of her mother. Thankfully the baby and mother were both healthy. I love the smile on the mother in this photo. She is so happy to have this baby with her now. What an incredible day for a visit.
We walked a stone’s throw away to Bahati’s uncle’s house. We were told his uncle owns LOTS of cows and it was evident by his house. He had a VERY nice concrete house and he even had couches and a tv in the sitting room. I unfortunately did not get a picture of this house. We sat here for awhile and enjoyed some chai.
From here we walked about 5 minutes away to the home of a grandmother of one of our other babies. Memusi has been at Neema since she was about a month and a half. Her mother died in childbirth and her grandmother was trying to take care of her but Memusi got very sick. Edward helped the grandmother (Bibi) bring Memusi into town to Neema House. She came to visit Memusi at Neema about two weeks ago and her eyes filled with tears when she saw how well Memusi was, now 10 months old. The Bibi loves Memusi very much and was very sad we hadn’t brought her, but we had not been told how close the families were. It turned out Bahati’s grandfather is the brother of Memusi’s grandfather.
Even though we hadn’t brought Memusi, this Bibi invited us into her home for sodas. What an incredible blessing of extreme hospitality.
From here we walked up the hill a ways more for lunch. They had killed some mbuzi (goats) and we enjoyed a feast of roast meats. Bahati LOVES to eat and was chowing down.
It was a sad goodbye, but we promised to be back soon, with Bahati AND Memusi. What an incredible day in an incredible village.
(Full gallery below.)