Edith Njapit’s Maasai Housewarming Party

I remember how I felt, after 40 hours of flying and 5 hours of driving to the Maasai Mara. I felt like I had been run over by a safari jeep, and I didn’t look much better. And yet, I was so happy, when we drove up to this scene. A whole group of Maasai celebrating my friend Edith’s housewarming party. It was a few days later that I dubbed the tree in this picture Edith’s “Wisdom Tree” and it has become a symbol of home in Kenya for me over the past few years.

100 Humanitarians - Mama HelenMeeting Mama Helen

It was also where I met Mama Helen, who is my Maasai Mum. Actually, I had met her on my first trip, but it was briefly. It’s amazing all of the things that are so meaningful for me now that were launched on that day. We ate, celebrated, and I was able to hug friends I had met six months earlier.

100 Humanitarians - David KupaiDavid Kupai

This was my “scouting trip” after starting 100 Humanitarians in July 2015. At the time, I just wanted to see what was possible to create. I decided to spend two weeks just immersed in the tribe and the culture while waiting for insight and direction. Little did I know how important this tribe would become in my life.

100 Humanitarians - Masois100 Humanitarians - MasoisThe Masois

So many tender moments came out of that day. I also met my Maasai Dad, who I had the blessing of knowing for a year and a half before he passed away in June 2017. He didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Maasai, but whenever I saw him he held my hand and hugged me, and sometimes that is all it takes to create a bond.

How do I even put into words my experiences in Kenya? It has been my refiner’s fire. It has changed me to the core. My ability to share my heart and the miracles I have experienced will be limited, but it is my honor to serve alongside the people of Kenya, and I will do my best to honor them.

– Heidi Totten, Executive Director of 100 Humanitarians International