- How old are you, Rafael?
- You cannot ask that question in that way to a Maasai. With your ways of thinking I am around 40 years. But we don’t count years. I am a younger elder, a retired warrior.
It took us another three hours to explore the idea of age. I got a lesson around how our assumptions form what we take for granted.
-Zacharias, as we sit here around the termite mound, tell us about what we see.
-Why do you ask me such a question? You probably know more than I do. But coming to think about it, I have often wondered about how so small creatures can create so large things together. What about their leadership and organization?
Zacharias, the local Maasai leader had noted that there were lots of creatures visiting the mound even though they did not belong there. Zacharias pointed.
-Sometimes we think of ourselves as those little black ants. We go the city, pick up something of use, like the mobile phone, and return home again.
Rafael had been sitting by the waterhole for a full day. As we talked in the evening, he was amazed.
-The waterhole brings all animals big, small, the powerful and the graceful to the same place with one purpose, to find the necessity in all living being – water. As we watched the different types of animals each at a time I noticed that no one is claiming full time presence and monopoly of the resource. I saw cooperation, not competition. If I, a Maasai, who has lived in the bush for all my life can learn from this journey, what could it not mean for a leader coming from your part of the world?
The Metafari project started out as a conversation around a web site in Sweden. We talked about how to present the web sites to the target groups. What could it be like?
-Maybe it should be like a waterhole? This initiated a vivid discussion about the waterhole.
What is a waterhole? What happens around the waterhole? Who comes to the waterhole? What are the elements of a well functioning waterhole?
The questions created wonderful conversations, and ideas about other exciting metaphors. The coral reef. A termite mound. The tidal landscape.
-Would it be possible to arrange Metaphor Safari? I dreamed. Through different connections the Metafari became a reality in Tanzania. Through Ruth Nesje, the founder of Tanga International Conference Center I got in touch with Rafael ole Monoo who has become my friend and partner in this project.
-Metafari is about inspiring the mind to decode the meaning that can be derived from every event, be it cosmic, living world creations of animals and plants, or geographical like wind movement, seasonal temperature, as it unfolds from what happens before our own eyes.
From the dawn of morning there is the eternally amazing turn of night into day, a moment always inspiring to body and mind as the transformation takes place. It can make us be part of the amazing creation by whoever founded it.
The Metafari is an odyssey of discovery decoding the meaning behind events of nature that could have wider meaning on issues that surround our social, professional and even religious life.
The Meta-journey can of course take place anywhere, and anytime. Kate Coutts, founder of Metasaga expresses it gracefully: Discover yourself in the world around you.