A Celebration — Maasai-Style!

Wow. What an amazing day! The Maasai sure know how to make a person feel special.

The dedication ceremony was beyond phenomenal. I’m not exactly sure what I thought was going to happen…but it far exceeded my expectations.

The school children (all 1038 of them) and some of their parents, several area dignitaries, village board members, and several of my friends gathered on Friday to help me celebrate the turnover of the Oldonyo Sambu Primary School classrooms to the community.

After a speech by the headmaster, the dancing began. 200+ kids, dressed in traditional Maasai costumes, dancing, singing, and jumping (part of the dancing). While the younger kids gathered around clapping, singing and cheering them on. So cool!

Then, six of the older female students (Grade 6 or 7) came forward and sang a poem they had written for me. If you have ever heard a Maasai woman sing, you will know how beautiful this moment was. So incredible.

I was then asked to step forward and receive some “gifts”…and by gifts, they meant an entirely new wardrobe. I was “dressed” by the Mamas of the village in two Maasai chukas, earrings, necklaces, anklets, and even shoes! Not gonna lie, I loved it! (And I kept it on all day and into the night!).

I gave a short speech as did a few of the other honored guests. Then we did a walkthrough of the GORGEOUS classrooms. Afterward, the entire community sat down with me for lunch. Good times!

I cannot tell you how happy I am with this project. It is really, truly amazing how far we have come from just 6 weeks ago when the structure was still covered in brambles and only half-standing.

I’ve posted a few photos to FB, so please check them out!: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=84340&id=1048689819&l=0bde3a2395

Thank you all again for your continued support and encouragement!

Heidi Henneman


2 responses to “A Celebration — Maasai-Style!

  1. I speak for your family in Thomson when I say we are very, very proud of what a girl from a small village in Illinois can do to help a village thousands of miles away! Heidi, congratulations on a job very well done.

    Mom, LB, Brianna, Butch and all the relatives

  2. You are an angel. What an achievement for someone so young. I am sure your family are very proud of you.

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