My quest to become the first female Maasai warriorMindy Bugdor
15 August 2013
Published by Allen & Unwin
Tired of her job, bored of waiting for her university application to be processed, Mindy Budgor decided to make some changes. Driven by cultural curiosity, passion, fearlessness and a set of Jewish parents breathing fire down her neck, she bought herself a ticket to Kenya to volunteer on a building project in the Maasai Mara.
After two weeks of working, sharing meals, and hiking at dawn with the Maasai, Mindy asked the chief why there were no female warriors. His terse reply — that women ‘aren’t strong enough or brave enough to do men’s work’ — hit a nerve. Mindy and her fellow volunteer Becca lobbied the chief to train them to become Maasai warriors.
Trading in their Egyptian cotton pillowcases, cushy mattresses, down-filled quilts and matzah ball soup for leaf beds, tattered wool blankets and goat head soup, Mindy and Becca began a new routine of slaughtering goats and cows, spear training, buffalo hunting and drinking animal blood. Ultimately they transformed the chief’s notions of female strength and courage and were inducted into the clan, becoming the world’s first female Maasai warriors.