On our approach to Maasai Academy progress is clear as the brand new kitchen building stands prominent on the hillside with the words ‘Maasai Academy’ painted by Becca and the women using their fine art skills. The welcome we receive reminds me of my first visit here last year when I was 3 days through a 4 day cycle challenge with some of COCO’s most dedicated supporters and I can’t help but wish that they were here to witness what their fundraising has achieved in such a short period of time. The outdoor kitchen has been transformed into a purpose built, clean, airy building with specialised cookers designed to use only the smallest amount of firewood to save on deforestation and improve the air quality for the cook.
The Maasai elders are present to bless the kitchen, a tradition for new things to ensure that they last long and prosper. The Maasai leader dips a bunch of leaves in goat milk and walks around the classroom shaking the leaves to spread droplets of milk, chanting in Maa to complete the blessing. The number of parents and community members present for this blessing is incredible and testament to the active role that this community take on ensuring their children can go to school and have a better education to survive in this ever globalised world.
Steve is asked to speak and then me which I know, as a woman, is a huge privilege. Once translated, our words are met with clapping and cheering and we feel a part of this place and very positive about the future. Little filming is done today as the ceremony takes over and building a relationship with the school and community is important if this development is to be sustainable. We return the next day to film and Kat and Steve yet again show their professionalism and we are done in no time and en route to Narok, packed lunch courtesy of Becca and a boot full of people and chickens. We say our goodbyes and I am sad to leave.