After rain comes meeting

Lemasio, the moran of our manyatta, loosens up. Yesterday evening we heard him singing in the hut of his mother. We crouched inside and found him with two friends around the fire on which his mother is brewing tea. One of the morans takes lead, the two others sing in the background, a rhythmic song without instruments. Thom makes a ‘can I film this’ sign. With the camera running and the light illuminating their faces they become more and more enthusiastic. Earlier that day we talked to Joseph, our interpreter and a Samburu by birth, about drought and the consequences for the Samburu of this area. In times of draught the moran travel further and further with their herds to find good grasslands. They stay, sometimes years, longer moran  then the usual fourteen years. When they are far away and the cattle weak and skinny ceremonies get postponed. During initiation- or wedding rituals lots of healthy milk must be used. As long as there is water, cows and goats can survive and therefore the Samburu. We follow Junus, the young wife of our host Kosen, in about half an hour to a water reservoir. Without this installation, build with help of Cordaid, Junus would have to walk on top of this half an hour another thirteen kilometres. Besides water for people and animals, the reservoir provides a meeting place for women and children. There is laughter, bickering and playing. Just like the women here, we hope that it will rain in April,  so that they will be able to continue meeting here. Diederik Veerman and Anne-Marie Boer

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