Olorgesailie was pretty cool. Apparently the entire area used to be a lake (a long, long time ago!), and after it dried up the sand and silt that were left over were great for preserving fossils, so tons of animal bones, human fossils, and early stone hand axes have been found over the years. (I can't figure out yet how to post pictures in the middle of the blog, so they're all just going to come at the end, with captions). There are even million-year-old elephant and rhino bones. For comparison, the elephant bone they found - it's actually a different, much bigger species than today's Indian and African elephants - was placed next to a normal elephant bone to show how much bigger the older species was. Crazy!
After Olorgesailie, we went to a Maasai Village run by Chief Joseph. I was truly amazed by the hospitality we were shown there. We spent some time in the "bush" (that's what they call it!) and saw about a gazillion giraffes. The giraffe centre was cool, but to see that many in the wild was great. After trekking around for what seemed like a long time, we headed back to the village for lunch and some cold Cokes. After, the women of the village did a traditional dance for us (very cool!) and Joseph modeled his warrior headdress. We spent the next hour or so chilling and talking - about the villages, Joseph's hopes for it (he's attempting to build a school, since the nearest primary school is currently a 45-minute walk away), and the traditional Maasai lifestyle. All in all, it was a fantastic day.
|Stone hand axes at Olorgesailie.|
|Elephant bones - the top one is a bone from a modern elephant; the bottom one is from a pre-historica elephant (so big!) The bottom bone is about a million years old, according to our tour guide.|
|Giraffes in Maasailand!|
|Chief Joseph in his traditional warrior headdress ...|
|... and me in Chief Joseph's traditional warrior headdress.|
|The women of the village did a traditional dance for us. Such colorful clothing!|
So that's all. The culture shock is starting to get a bit better, and I'm still livin' it up here in Kenya. Today was great, and I'm going to try to continue embracing new experiences and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. That's what the next 3 and a half months are all about, right?