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Today was the kind of experience that I was hoping for the boys to have. We met our English-speaking guide, Hassam, and drove about 45 minutes further into the bush to encounter the Hadzabe Tribe. The camp was not a tourist attraction; these people and their nomadic way of life were very real.

For the next two hours, we hiked and hunted with four bushman. They taught the boys to use bows and arrows. (This was no Cub Scout camp!) While they’d wanted to kill a baboon this day, the bushman were satisfied with some small birds. The men were quick, light-footed, and extremely skilled. (I learned later that they smoke a plant prior to the hunt that makes them high! Apparently it heightens their senses for tracking.)

From Nathan: Just imagine, these men have to do this everyday. I wonder why they don’t use a rifle. It would increase their accuracy and let them take down big game.

From Aidan: We walked for about an hour before I got my first shot. I shot at a bird that was sitting in a tree from about 25 feet away. I missed the bird by a foot. Then the guide pointed out another bird in the tree. I shot at it. The first shot was too low. The second shot was too high.

As you’ll be able to see from the photos, Aidan truly embraced this experience. He could even speak “click” like the tribesmen. The guide called him “white bushman” all day long. Aidan had a sample of the bird that the bushman cooked over a fire on the spot. I did too; it was a little rare for my liking. Nathan refused politely and opted for the honeycomb that the men pulled out of a tree.

The most memorable moment for me was observing a 14-year old girl who had just given birth yesterday. She was lying on the ground of her hut, still bleeding with the baby at her side. (The Hadzabe marry young. Their life expectancy is around 50 to 55 years old.)

After some afternoon rest time, we visited another tribe named the Datoga. They’re known as blacksmiths and make items out of melted metal. We also visited an onion farm – this area is known for red onions – and a large market.

Tomorrow, another big drive…

(Note:  if you click on the photos and look at them in the gallery setting, you’ll be able to read the captions for more information.)