I’ve created a slideshow of the school children of Amboseli School in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. While on our wonderful trip to Kenya and Tanzania in July 2009, our guide took us to a school in a Maasai village. It was a single classroom with young, primary school age children. We were given permission to photograph them, which I was very happy to be able to do. In the classroom there were no desks, only benches for the children to sit on facing the teacher. There were blackboards on the wall and the room was only lit by the light entering through the open windows.
The children were beautiful and there were a few obvious things about their appearance. First, most of them were covered (head to foot) with a white-grey dust. When we looked into what that was, we found that it was from playing outside in the dirt which contained a lot of volcanic ash from Mount Kilimanjaro as well as salty soda from nearby dry lakes. They were experiencing a draught during the time we were there. We also discovered that the name of the area, Amboseli may have come from the word “Empusel” which means “salty, dusty place” in the traditional Maasai language of Maa.
Second, many of the children had one or more circular scars on their cheek(s). These were a sign of group cohesion, and a means to identify their children from other tribes. Maasai tribal members often are seen with round scars on their cheeks.
Please click the button to see these amazing children:
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We’re down in the desert visiting Cherise, Brian, Jake and Luke for Grandparents’ Day at their school. Afterwards, we took the boys out to lunch, then to the Golden Spoon for frozen yogurt.
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This is a composite of two photos taken with my iPhone using the Camera+ iPhone App.
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This was one of the first Masai children I saw on our trip to Kenya. We got to spend some time in a Masai village and there were lots of children running and playing outside as the sun was close to setting, but this child just stopped and looked at me. He appeared to be about 2 years old and was dressed in this bright red shirt. There was something very special about him that I can’t seem to put into words, but I think this image tells its own story.
This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 40D, EF17-40mm f/4L lens, 1/400 sec at f/4, ISO 200 on SanDisk Extreme IV Digital Film.