Written by Eliza Hatch
On Saturday, January 19th, the village of Nainokanoka held a dedication ceremony for the 2-in-1 teachers’ house FoTZC built for Nainokanoka Primary School. The guest of honor at the ceremony was the Member of Parliament for the area.
The ceremony was incredible. We were all seated at a table facing the new house, and a few hundred Maasai were there for the ceremony. We were welcomed with a Maasai blessing and a speech by the Ward Councilor, who told us that the District Commissioner, the District Executive Director, and the District Education Officer would also be stopping by, as they had other business nearby. This was quite a bit more than we bargained for!
The ceremony included traditional songs and dances by Maasai women and school children, as well as a Maasai warriors dance. The politicians all spoke, and then the community gave us all gifts – bracelets, necklaces, and Maasai blankets. Judi Wineland and I presented a plaque to dedicate the houses, and then Mr. Telele, the Member of Parliament officially unlocked the door. Once inside, the Headmaster presented us with certificates from the school. Judi spoke to the school children about the importance of education in creating better lives for themselves. The ceremony ended with a final speech by the Ward Councilor, asking FoTZC to do more at the school. He told us that the school is ranked second in the entire district, which is quite impressive. The whole event lasted about three and a half hours. It was an amazing experience and both wonderful and strange to be honored in this way by a community. I’ve included a few photos from the ceremony here.
The images above are of a Maasai women’s song, the guests at the dedication, and a Maasai Warriors dance at the Nainokanoka Primary School dedication ceremony.