BY Lisa Lindblad
July 12, 2010
Kenya’s Maasai Mara, 1974-1976: camped between the Olareorok and Njagatiak Rivers, a 4-hour, Maasai-stride from Governor’s Camp; a year we spent filming jackals and hyenas and living with our Maasai neighbors; becoming daktari for 13 villages and receiving daily throngs in camp for simple medicines.
The last months I stayed on alone, living between a couple of tents sheltered under a generous fig tree and my girlfriends’ mud dung huts in their manyatta, the thorn-enclosed village.
Kenya’s Maasai Mara, 2010. The manyattas are gone from these plains, and satellite dishes reach into the African sky. I return to see the children of the children, greeting them with the age-old blessing of palm to forehead. “Kokoo Lisa” – Grandmother Lisa – they cry as they scamper around me. They know me still. White women usually did not come and stay, but I had stayed and returned, first alone, and then with my own children.
And I always revisit Encoruet, the place of my old and best life, under the fig trees at the bend in the rivers, the spot they named “the place of our friend” and blessed on the day I departed.