the last frontiers..

In the last days I went around in Uwiro village area. I was with the Maasai chief of MKuru subvillage, a very interesting and clever man. We are the same age, he has never attended a training class, but we were able to speak in English about life and global changes. He learnt many things from the school of life, like speaking kiswahili and driving a land cruiser, but also much more about global changes. He knows everybody in the village and every boma up to Longido. He comes from a boma near Lake Natron and he had some difficult moments in his life.. I think we somehow had some similar experiences.. in particular being banned from a community and the feeling of not belonging to anything, to any place…. this is something that marks you for the rest of your life, and it could even destroy it if you let it happen… but, if you leave it behind, and look ahead, you never know what God (according to the Maasai chief) or Yourself (according to me) might deserve for you..

so, speaking with him and looking at that wonderful, green, once never ending landscape, starting to be contaminated by ironsheet-roofed houses, maize field, roads..etc, looking at that through his eyes, the eyes of someone who has always seen the never ending land around…I felt strange. I recalled a movie, a stupid romantic or masterpiece movie, you decide.., “dancing with wolves”..when the native american chief is talking with the white soldier and ask “how many of them (white people with rifles) are coming?”..many, and they will definitively change and destroy your life, your world..everything… many of us are coming..

I felt I was on one of those last frontiers, between wild nature and tamed nature, between a pastoralist culture, of nomadic warriors, relying on the sky-grass-animal system, a society where adult males have power, and then the cows come, and then wives and finally children.., and the culture of settled down farmers, going for brick houses, industrialization, future plannings, loans, stuff accumulation..

Again, I felt like I was looking at something that has already disappeared all over Europe, and it is also going to be here, right now..

he asked, challenging me, “why don’t you all go away, with your changes?”

I said, beacuse others would come, many others..

is that word “sustainable” in front of “development” enough? enough for myself…?


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