In the heart of Oloki village, amongst the local Maasai, in Tanzania, is where I had my first dose of real Africa. I was simply a spectator, adorned with beautiful beaded jewelry and the traditional blues and reds of the tribe. Their singing voices got louder, the beat of their drums got stronger, and that’s when it hit me. The depth and passion in those appreciative voices, the intensity of the drumbeat, lifted my spirits and eventually I no longer felt like a spectator; I was one of them, we as a whole were one with nature. Jumping up and down around a bonfire in the middle of the open bush is where I first got the bug. The energy of Africa, the energy of the land, bit me badly. Recollecting these memories of truthful faces and magnificent starry skies, I realize that I was given a gift, the gift of appreciation. I have never felt more grounded and in tune with my surroundings. This night of celebration taught me how to appreciate the land in its entirety. From that day on, I knew that my mission in life is not to gain success or wealth, but to explore what else is out there.
Written by Latifa Al Gosaibi