Fish the size of houses & roller coasters
Fish and the Maasai (Masai) are not really things that go together. For example, Yona’s mother won’t eat for a week if anyone even mentions the word ‘fish’ in her presence. It’s like me asking you, ‘would you like a plate of eyeballs for dinner’. It’s just gross.
So I thought carefully how I would describe these “big fish”… We deicided to go with “fish the size of a house” for the killer whale.
Sifa was so terrified when she saw the killer whale that she jumped two rows back into the laps of complete strangers… (sorry strangers!)
We called the seal’s “water lions”.
We called the walrus a “sea cow”.
At first the Maasai (Masai) were convinced that there were people inside the “sea lion” costumes… then they were convinced that it was American witchcraft that made those animals act like people… then finally they understood that they had be trained for years and years and years.
But the highlight of the day, was the roller coaster. We saw a calm roller coaster that just dumped a cart-load of people down a steep hill into a pool of water… and we lined up… we thought.
The first time I went to Maasailand, when I came home I dreamed for a week about how to explain a roller coaster to a Maasai. That dream came true this week.
We were about to get on the ride, and they closed it and we had to turn around. The Maasai (Masai) were disappointed to have missed the opportunity… especially Martha. They were all psyched up to do this, and then to have it close just before their turn was disappointing. But I think it just gave them more courage. So we continued on… to the Steel Eel.
If you’re not familiar with the Steel Eel, it’s one of those scary ones where there’s just one little bar that comes down over your hips and holds you in… Their faces were priceless. We weren’t sure that they would ever forgive us for taking them on that ride. But they were so proud! For Yona, who has killed a lion – this was his rhino.
Here’s the reenactment of their fear.
“Oh I’m leaving my Grandchildren today!”
“Maliaki sounded like a dying sheep!” – Martha-
Naitapoaki was sitting next to Reginald Cox, and as the ride went over the first drop, Naitapoaki clung onto his arm for all she was worth!
“Take me home now, Jesus!”
Sifa sat next to me. Her eyes were squinted closed tighter than I’ve ever seen, and her mouth was jiggling back and forth, and she was struggling to breathe… but when she got off, Sifa was giddy!
The man who killed a lion was terrified on the roller coaster. This Maasai (Masai) warrior faced his rhino in the Steel Eel. Pastor Cook from IBC in San Antonio told Yona that he would face his rhino, and after he got off the roller coaster, he understood!
It turned out that the ride we weren’t able to get on, was the one that turned its passengers completely upside-down. We were so grateful that the ride had closed before we got on! We went on the water ride we had originally tried to get on and since we had conquered every terror on the previous ride, we had a BALL!
In the future… if you’re trying to explain a roller coaster to a Maasai (Masai) you can say “It’s like being shot up into the sky like the arrow of a Bushman, then flying straight down onto its target”. -Thank you Martha for the quote.