Tina and Greg Caster, Tanzania

Invitation To A Private Boma

We were with our guide, Dominic Maji, driving from Arusha to the Maramboi Tent Camp. Dominic was very open to any topic of conversation and any request we had to stop and explore. Along the way we noticed some ladies and children at a watering spot collecting water in buckets. Dominic pulled over to the side of the road so we could stretch our legs and struck up a conversation with the locals about their task of collecting water for their families.

Before we knew what was happening, Dominic was picking up a water bucket and challenged Greg to do the same. It was his way of breaking the ice with the women and expressing his regard for their strength as it is the womens' job to collect the water and transport it to their homes their bomas. Sometimes the walk is near, sometimes far. He then offered that he and Greg would help them carry their buckets to their home. They accepted and found it very amusing as the men struggled to carry the heavy buckets of water to the boma. As the men struggled, I ran ahead to get a photo of them. As long as I was taking a photo of Dominic and Greg, it was OK to take the photo vs. asking the people if I could take their photo.

When we got the boma yard, the men placed the water in the cook house. While clarifying that the kitchen was indeed not the main residence, the first wife invited us to see their home. We were taken inside and provided a small wooden stool to sit on. The lead wife offered us porridge. Greg asked if he could take a picture of me with them inside the home and was permitted to do so. He then showed the picture on the digital camera screen to the women and the children. The children loved it and soon Greg handed over the camera to the children to try. They had such fun taking pictures that we ended up with some great shots of our experience that we would normally not have gotten.

Dominic was able to turn a happenstance encounter to a truly memorable experience for us with the people of Tanzania.