After all these wild beasts life had to go on. We headed on to Lake Natron even if some traveller’s stories about modern Maasai culture seriously tried to discourage us.
One of them:
You drive up this dusty road towards the Kenyan border. On the way you see these herd boys in their red or blue nylon cloths (made by Pink Lucky Lotus Maa Sai Cloth Company in Shanghai), herding their cows and watching the bundles of dollars on legs (common expression in Maasai language for foreign tourists) passing the road to Lake Natron. In order to improve communication and thus better know and appreciate foreign tourists visiting Lake Natron, the Massai Department of Finances and Dollar Related Relationship built some road blocks at each District border (there are 3 or 4 Districts before reaching Lake Natron). At each of these road blocks there was a guy politely greeting the visitors, showing the wonderfully painted board which welcomes all foreign tourists and explains
them, that this welcome costs between 20 and 50 US Dollars per person, independently whether anybody wants to visit the District or just is on transit. Alternatively, the so much appreciated visitor may return immediately and never show up again. For the honour of handling a neglectable amount of Dollars to these guy, he registers all in a book and after some nice conversation on governance, Maasai Local Government and all kind of milk cows even a receipt is produced as a souvenir (without serial number or copy). This procedure repeats several times, finally and after having spent somehow 130 US Dollars you happily arrive at Lake Natron with lots of receipts and empty pockets.
So far the tales – cannot be.
Nevertheless, we lived it all. Of course there were also some highlights: the nice campsite, the lake with its flamingos and a moonlike landscape.
After a nice afternoon with lots of sightseeing we had some more interesting conversation with some new Maasai friends in the evening. The main issue was their quite heavy request to pay all sorts of entrance fees and guide salaries. After some nice conversation of a village delegation with us and our South African neighbours on the campsite, we concluded that it might be a real challenge to overcome the cultural differences between the Maasai in this village and us. Somehow we run short of arguments regarding our role as huge bundles of dollars on legs supposed to slim as quickly as possible. Therefore, we changed our initial plan to stay a little longer – maybe to climb l Doinyo L’Engai crater – and decided to move the next day.