Long Walk Home
Maasai children in Tanzania are sacrificing alot for their education
Pendo is 10 years old and lives in Emboreet region close to the famous Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Her family belongs to the Maasai tribe and until today they live a very traditional life. She is the oldest daughter and has one brother and a younger sister. Her school, the Emboreet Simanjiro primary school is very far away from her home. Everyday she has to walk about 20 km by herself to reach school, therefore she has to get up with her mother Sela at 4am to arrive around 8am at school. During first lessons she is very sleepy and tired after the long walk. Normally the teachers are very strict, but because they know that Pendo is walking from very far they sometimes let her recover for some moments.
Nonetheless Pendo loves to go to school and is very good at Swahili lessons and history class. Her dream is to become a teacher herself. Even though she is still small compared to other students she is very good and fast at playing netball. During lunch break she usually tries to repeat her exercises because by the time she reaches home it is already getting dark. When the school bells rings at 4pm for Pendo it means 4 hours of walking again along the hot and dusty road to reach home.
As a Maasai girl it is her duty to collect firewood and fetch water and to help her mother to prepare dinner for the family. Even though her father Maiseyey is very strict he is also very caring. He loves the Maasai culture and tries to raise his children according to his traditions but he also understands that school education is very important. He says that he is very proud of his daughter to attend school and his wish is that she will be able to finish school and to have more opportunities through education.