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Hemingway Adventure

Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Chyulu Hills, Kenya 
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Inside: grandmother, mother and the boy (behind the curtain) who will take two weeks to recover.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureI am asked into the hut, an invitation which I accept rather gingerly. Bending double, I stoop my way along the short curved tunnel of an entrance and find myself confronted by a scene of unexpected serenity, a bit like a nativity. The mother and grandmother sit beside the fire and the boy is lying silently beneath a rough cloth blanket to one side. Only the tossing and turning of his head indicates what he is going through. The women smile in welcome, and one of them moves to the boy’s bed and pulls the blanket closer around his shoulders. He will stay here for two weeks.

Outside, the young men are lighting a fire by spinning an acacia stick onto a base of cedar. I notice that one of them has a little trouble as his Rolex watch keeps sliding down. It takes ten minutes or more before a little smoke appears, although they break off frequently to be photographed.

Though the Masai in general, and the women in particular, seem to resent the camera, these young boys will pose at the drop of a hat. They may look warlike but it’s all a bit of a put-on. Their faces are beautifully painted, their hair elaborately hennaed, their ear lobes cut and shaped to take a dazzling array of adornment, their beads and bracelets and rich red tunics artfully arranged. Small hand-mirrors hang from straps on their waist.
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  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Chyulu Hills, Kenya
  • Country/sea: Kenya
  • Place: Chyulu Hills
  • Book page no: 179

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