Our drive back to Nairobi from Masai Mara takes us through the spectacular Rift Valley, a wide trench made by a fault line stretching for thousands of miles from Syria to Mozambique. The lush valley floor stretches green below and the mountain tops are hiding in mist. Dan is falling asleep beside me. My face is covered in red ochre where the Maasai women painted me. We’re both exhausted after game drives, hiking and tea with a Maasai family in their hut.
Before we leave Oldarpoi Mara Community Camp, the Maasai warriors give us names. The name given to me is Nashipae — it means the Joyous One. Dan’s name is Oloserian — it means the Lucky One. It’s almost as if they knew my secret! My middle name is Joy and in a few hours I’m going to propose to Dan and make him the lucky one.
Dan gets sick with an upset stomach and we have to stop in Narok. Now more than ever I want to propose to him. Now that he is delirious with fever and sure to say yes. I tell him I’d like to stop at the lookout point ahead to give him a present. I say it like the Masai women in the village who gave us several bracelets and necklaces before we left. Present! Present!
Click on the image above to watch a video of the women singing to welcome us.
At the lookout point over the valley, you can see Mt. Longonot and Mt. Suswa in the distance. I take out the rings in a wooden box I also made (but never properly finished).
It takes him a nanosecond to decide with tears forming in his eyes. So it’s official, we got engaged on May 10, 2010. If you’d like to read about how I made the rings you can read about that on this blog. Oh I almost forgot, his ring doesn’t fit at all, so I’m going to have to make another one! Please don’t use my technique for sizing — it’s not foolproof after all, ha!