By Isabel J., a 4-time traveler from Wildomar, CA
I am sure I am one of many who have repaired a house with cow dung and milked a goat (with no success—my family would starve!) but sharing "Red Noses" with Maasai children was the best!
On past trips with Grand Circle, I always brought school supplies for the children but on my trip last May with O.A.T. to Kenya and Tanzania, I decided to give the children something different. I asked my Trip Experience Leader, Bariki Bee, if it would be appropriate for me to bring some red noses for the children and I included a picture of me and my "nose". After he stopped laughing, he said yes and I packed 100 Red Noses in my duffel bag.
Red Nose Day is an annual fundraiser sponsored by Comic Relief in the United States that provides grants to many charities—including those that strive to ensure that children the world over are safe, healthy, and educated. As a former nurse, I liked the way it impacts children so the noses came to Kenya!
At the school visit in Kenya I held a Red Nose in my hand and told the children that it had a special power. My trip mates and I turned our backs to the children, put our noses on then turned and faced them.
At first the children didn't know what to think of these Americans with their strange noses. And then the smiles came and the laughter started, and I told them that that was the special power—it helped people to smile and laugh.
We handed out the noses and even the local village chief got involved and wore one!
I value the opportunities Grand Circle and O.A.T. provide travelers to connect with the people of the countries we visit on a more personal basis and in this instance, the experience of giving smiles, laughter, and joy is a moment I will treasure forever.
Discover Africa for yourself—and meet with a Maasai community— on O.A.T.’s Best of Kenya & Tanzania adventure.