Towards the end of my first experience in Kenya with 100 Humanitarians, I was taught a lesson I will never forget in a moment that might have seemed so small and insignificant to the outside observer, but it has pierced my heart.
We were at Joyce’s home installing a water tank and learning to make chapati. She lives on that Mara–a land dedicated to the Maasai culture. Joyce is the mother of Muneria (John)–one of our wonderful Maasai warrior guides and a true friend to all. We needed more water for the cement that the tank would sit on. To achieve this, we needed to walk down to the river to gather it. In their culture, this this women’s work. I believe that, in a “perfect” world, we all work together to get things done.
I asked Muneria if he was going to come help us and he told me “No, its not a mans work in our culture.”
He mentioned that they were trying to change Maasai culture. I responded by mentioning he could change it TODAY with a lot of love and a bit of sarcasm in my voice. With the same love and sarcasm, he told me back with maybe tomorrow.
I responded with, “Will you at least walk us down so we know where to go?” since we were a bunch of American women going for water.
He said that he would, and we walked down to the river. While we walked, we talked about our cultures, and I made sure that this wasn’t something he would get punished for doing because I didn’t want to push for change in an area that would cause damage. My only goal was and is to do good. I told him that, in my house, my husband and I share responsibilities. We definitely have our strengths and things that one of us is better at or more able to do, but if it needs to be done, we do it even if its not “our job”. I told him about how my wonderful husband stayed home with our children so that I could travel to Kenya following my heart.
We had a nice chat about it and went to the water. The kids that came with us helped us fill the water jugs. The women hiked back with the water jugs. Now, this was not a long walk, but a walk nonetheless. Water jugs are heavy! None of us were accustomed to this particular task, but we were all willing to give it a go to have an experience in the name of culture.
We all struggled just a bit figuring out the best way to carry the weight. Pretty soon, 3 young men ages 17-25 grabbed our water jugs from us and easily carried them back to the house. These men included two from our group and Muneria. In that moment I sobbed with emotion, much like right now as tears flow down my cheeks as I recall this moment.
Some might have just seen men helping out, but I saw CHANGE! I saw a small choice that at the same time was a choice that had a potential to change history–the start of a culture shift. Muneria chose TODAY to be an an example for the young boys watching. He chose TODAY to influence his culture for good.
I hope I never forget that lesson. That change for good and change for the future start TODAY with one small choice at a time.
Melodee Bullock is a supporter of love. Through her journey of healing from depression, anxiety, ptsd, low/no self esteem, trust issues, financial , and relationship things. She has learned the power of Love. She has since learned and created her Dream life through intimacy and abundance. She is a wife, mother, foot zone therapist, International Energy Mentor and Presenter. She runs and operates events, retreats, programs, and group and personal training. She has helped many people in their journey of overcoming and healing through many of the same struggles she went through but her passion lies in marriages. She has devoted her time and energy to creating powerful programs to support people in bettering their marriages and relationships so that they too can create their dream life through intimacy and abundance.