A very inveresting person I met at Mkuru is a Dutch girl doing a PhD research project in two Maasai communities in Kenia and Tanzania, and in a Batwa pygmies village at the congolese border. She is carrying out a research project on “The role of stereotypical images during ecotourism encounters in Eastern Africa”, and therefore she usually lives in the villages in family houses. Which means she was experiencing food and water shortage, and tribal gender hierarchy. In the last two years she has become very close to the Maasai people from Mkuru, which I didn’t manage to do in the same way for different reasons, and so I tried to take advantage of her privileged position and chatted with her to better understand them. She was extremely well adapted and inside the culture, but on the other hand her dutch lucidity was coming out when she was speaking about her project. She said the tourism programs represent a way for the two “poles” of the world to meet each other face to face, to come to better know and understand each other, and so open eyes on the tension that exists between a shared humanity and the issue of global inequality.
Though sometimes she could sound a bit weird, I think it was very important for me to discuss with her about changes and catarsi.