Fair exchange in Kenya! An African prince learns that in America, swinging clubs is a game – while Kevin Gorman from Rye, N.Y. picks up the finer points of a Masai warrior’s favorite sport.
Great moments in the lives of two boys – fleeting moments of human experience – are caught by the camera’s magic and brought to LIFE’s pages.
9-year-old Kevin Gorman was on an adventure that only the story books could match—a vacation that combined the is flavors of Kipling’s Kim with the excitement of Tarzan of the Apes. Kevin had come to Kenya to join his stepfather as guest of a Masai tribe, the proudest of all Africans. He and the chief’s son Dionni became close companions and Kevin went around wearing a headband Dionni gave him.
“Dionni has painted red hair and he wears lots of other jewelry,” Kevin wrote. “Someday I think he will he the chief.”
Each morning the two ventured forth, Dionni from a mud hut inside the thornbranch barricade that surrounded his village and Kevin from his tent pitched just outside. While they stalked lions from a safe distance and followed rhino tracks, Kevin’s stepfather stayed near with his camera. In between exciting forays into the bush Dionni taught Kevin to throw a spear and was introduced, in turn, to the mysteries of baseball. Each day Kevin conscientiously kept his diary of his epic visit.
“The Masai taught me lots of things,” Kevin wrote in his diary. “They are very nice people and we had no problems understanding each other. They taught me to shoot the heaviest bow I have ever seen and I taught Dionni how to play baseball and write his name. He doesn’t speak any English and I learned 11 words in Swahili.”
“The whole Masai tribe liked to look at the pictures in my encyclopedia so I left it with them as a present. Besides being warriors the Masai are herders. So Dionni and I went to get sticks to herd with. You whistle and hit the stick on the ground. We brought lots of cows to the well to drink water that way.”