This past Saturday the girls went to Mkuru Camel Camp which is a camel safari company for community development. The Mkuru Camel Camp is supported by a few NGOs and our 3 guides on the camel safari were Maasai men who spoke very little English. It was really fun trying to talk to them in the little Kiswahili we know and have them teach us Maasai words (Asante=Thank you in Kiswahili and in Maasai it is Asha, or something like that lol). It was a very interesting hour ride to the Baboon Cave with all of us trying to stay on the camel hump in order to not sit on the person sharing the saddle. Saddles that are made for camels slope to the back because they conform to the hump and it is much more difficult to stay on than you'd think and pretty uncomfortable, but still, you are riding a camel! The views were amazing, especially because it was our first time out of Arusha. It was really nice to be in a place where, if you were completely silent, the only thing you heard was the distant clanging of a bells, worn by the goats being herded across the dry earth. It was in this surreal landscape that we ate our lunch, prepared by our hosts, under the shadow of a tree.
After lunch we got back on our camels and rode back to the camp, our Maasai guides whistling their commands to the camels. I guess the moral of this story is that is extremely important to get out of Arusha or any larger town you are staying in in Tanzania, the tourism industry provides for many great day trips to the local parks and banana plantations among other things.