In early September, a delegation of diocesan leaders from across the United States visited Ethiopia and Tanzania to get a first-hand look at CRS work. The following is a report by Sister Patti Rossi, associate director, Mission Office, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA.
National Geographics pictures came to life as we visited the Maasai community in a sub-village of Same.
We were greeted by a community of people with tall stature, colorfully dressed in magololi, decked with beautiful hand-crafted beaded jewelry. At first, I was struck by the contrast of we and they, however; the contrast was soon forgotten in the warm hand shakes and smiles.
Anna, the matriarch of this community, expressed through a translator, Kateri Daniels, a Same diocesan worker, the dire need for water. Women travel long distance to find water. Kateri assured all that in partnership with CRS and the Diocese of Same that a Global Water Initiative would begin a water project in the near future.
Following such good news, Anna decided to invite our group to visit her new home currently under construction. Women of the Maasai tribe are the home builders. Upon entering the house, which is constructed of cow-dung and mud, I was amazed at the darkness and total emptiness of the house. There was a special space designated for the father, separated from the mother and children.
The emptiness of the house was soon filled with Anna’s pride and love which she shared with us… the overwhelming beauty of simplicity. This encounter reminded me that we are one human family despite the diversity of life-style. Being in the presence of the Maasai was a moment never to be forgotten.
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