Sunday, April 13, 2008

DIARY OF A MAASAI MARATHON RUNNER

GUARDIAN, UK - Six Maasai warriors will run the London Marathon tomorrow to raise money for a well in their village. Isaya, 24, is their chief. This is a diary of his week in London, the first time he has left Tanzania

The plane was so big and frightening, and I closed my eyes. My family didn't want me to come to England because they never saw a plane before.

Our elders told us we can do the marathon because we have been running all over, killing a lion and herding cattle. . .

Heathrow was very busy and it was difficult to walk on the floor because some of it moved. You're walking along and the next moment it's whooosh! It's difficult to get on and off but very good when you're on.

I miss meat and blood very much. Not vegetables because they are food for a woman. . .

The weather here is strange. From a window it looks warm but outside it's very cold. It is better when we're running or in the shower. We heard about showers before, in a briefing about the country. It said be careful - when the shower is hot it is really hot, and when cold, really cold. This is true. . .

All journalists ask the same questions. They ask why you have the strange shoes and shields, about blood, about lions. In Trafalgar Square, they asked: "What do you think about the bronze lion over there?" But what can I say? It's not a real lion. I don't mind because we are interesting to them but I am not here to be a show, an exhibition.

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