The Ultimate Form of Gratitude

After a morning of tracking an elephant with a Samburu warrior, an afternoon of treating patients with the nurse in the only medical clinic for miles and miles, and an early evening of tiling the maternity ward, the chief’s son arrived to our camp in a pick-up, ready to give us the African cultural experience of a life time. 

He led us through about an hour of scenery that is best described by comparing what you see in The Lion King.  While picking up more Samburu warriors along the way, the chief’s son turned to me and said in broken English, “You look like a Samburu warrior.  You need to dress like one.”  He proceeded to remove the cloth from around his waist and dressed me in it.  He signaled for me to remove my shirt and led me to another warrior.  He removed his jewelry and weapon and transformed me into a real Samburu warrior.

We then arrived to a gathering of people that were singing and dancing.  He had taken us to a wedding ceremony.  The amazing thing is, he didn’t want us to be spectators.  He led us right to the middle of the singing and dancing and introduced us to the bride and groom.  They grabbed our hands and led us through an experience that none of us will ever forget.

The chief’s son presented the opportunity and encouraged us to dive head first into the true culture of the Samburu tribe.  Every day was something new.  We received the ultimate form of gratitude from this village: acceptance.  While I was in Kenya serving in the Samburu village, I honestly felt like one of them.  What an amazing people.  What an amazing experience.

—Trevor Page, 2016 Volunteer