Saturday 18 September 2010

Mobile Maasai

After a long gap I get a call from Juma. He has been back on the mainland for a while. His father, an important Maasai elder, has been very sick but thankfully seems to be on the mend. Adding to the stresses of being a 21st century warrior and herdsman, the rains have failed this year. This means Juma has to take his and his father's cows further and further from the village to graze.

As Juma explains there is an upside. He gets to go far enough to find a patch of ultra rural Tanzania that gets a mobile signal. His village has none.  Now I wonder - is there a project for a terribly clever eco-geographer mapping Maasai grazing patterns against the footprints of East Africa's mobile networks? Is the place he is calling me from today over-grazed because of its Vodacom signal? As I have blogged before the Maasai hold most of the modern world in complete disdain but mobile phones...that's another matter. 

No comments:

Post a Comment