In many ways my “firsts” are declining as I’m here longer and longer…but today I experienced my first Maasai baby shower!
There were no balloons…no stork sign in the yard to distinguish the new mother’s home from the rest of the neighborhood. No diaper cake or fancy baby hors d’oeuvres. Nothing of the sort. Nasha had her sweet baby, Simon, two months ago, and today we, the ladies of the church, gathered at her home to celebrate the birth of Simon.
Nasha, like all the other Maasai in Masai Mara, lives in a hut made of sticks, mud, and cow dung. Just as her people have lived since they came to be here on earth. The floor is dirt, and there are no windows. It’s not large, and the ceiling is just tall enough for a person to stand…that’s it. There is usually a room connected to the boma (home) for the cows or goats to live in at night to protect them from being eaten by a wild animal, such as a lion. It’s dark and not spacious (thought that’s an understatement). If you lived in an efficiency apartment you would be living in a mansion compared to the homes here. Add 12 ladies and two children to an already teeny tiny home…well, you get the picture.
There we all were…crammed in together celebrating Nasha and Simon. Intimate is a good term to use! We sang…we sang of the wonders of the Lord. Praising Him for His grace and glory. We prayed together. We gave testimonies. It was beautiful. These ladies came together and the home was filled with love; filled with love for each other and filled with love for our King. God was with us today…His presence was indeed felt.
Gifts were given, but it’s not like what we would give here…a bag of sugar…a bar of soap…hand sanitizer. It was precious! We did have cupcakes and chai (tea with milk). There I am, sitting on the dirt floor in the dark my head darts back and forth as I listen to the ladies talk exuberantly to one another about…well, I have NO idea!! It was all in Maasai! I would hear my name every once in a while! I would answer…but I still had no idea what was being said. But, I didn’t need to know. There isn’t always a need to know what the words are that are being said, sometimes it’s enough to just know the person saying the words…and sometimes it’s enough to just hear they way it’s said. In many ways it’s all jibberish, but at the same time it’s crystal clear what is being exchanged: love, friendship, faith, fellowship.
It was a lovely time of fellowship and celebration! Just as lovely as if it were a baby shower given in the states. More and more I see how circumstances and luxury don’t make something good…it’s the people…it’s God. He is just as beautiful in a mud hut as He is in a lavish mansion! His love is just as all encompassing in a mud hut as in a lavish mansion…and isn’t it a good thing, too!? Isn’t it wonderful that the cross wasn’t just for one kind of people, but it was for all! God’s love and Jesus’ blood is for all! Praise God!