In a fast-changing Kenya, the Maasai are learning the importance education plays in the evolution of their tribe into modern society. In a community where 75 percent of adults are illiterate, boys like Odupoi face the difficult task of bridging the gap between the modern world and keeping their cultural roots intact. In this interview you see that tension — but you also see a 13-year-old boy dreaming of a future!
Q:Can you tell us your name and where you live?
A: I am Odupoi Pose and I am 13 years old. I go to Nigily Primary School in Kenya and I am a Compassion child. I live with my brothers in this house and my grandmother also lives in this house.
Q: Tell us about your typical day from when you wake up in the morning. What do you do through the whole day?
A: My days are different — for example, on school days I wake up in the morning, I [take out] the animals and come back and have breakfast and prepare for school, then I go to school. On the weekends, like on Saturday, I wake up in the morning, I take out the animals, I treat the ones that are sick, then I take them out and then I go to the project. On Sundays I wake up in the morning, I take breakfast I make to the animals, I treat the sick and go herding.
Q: Tell me more about how you treat the sick animals.
A: Normally, when I get a sick animal in the morning or in the evening, a goat or a sheep, I can treat it myself because we already have medicine that we keep here. We just inject and it is OK. If it is a cow I have to have some help from my father so I call my father and we treat it together.
Q: What would you like to be when you grow up?
A: When I grow up I wish to be a newscaster because to all people to hear news from all over the world.
Q: What would you say in your newscast?
A: Good evening Compassion sponsors. I am a newscaster from the Maasai community. Behind me is the Maasai community and in front of me is the cow sheds. In the morning I wake up and milk my goats and I go open my cattle to go and graze.
Q: What is your favorite part of the Compassion program?
A: The most thing that I love in Compassion is the teaching that we are given. The teaching we are given is very good, we are teach how to grow spiritually and how to grow in a good way. They teach us how to grow and respect our parents, grow and help your parents, help your neighbors and help your community.
Q: Is there an adult you look up to, who you want to be like?
A: I wish to be like Mother Teresa. I would like to help the poor because most people do not see them as people or as valuable, so I would like to value them as people.