He came from a Masai village in Africa, located away from any tourist routes. He never drove a car, did not know what YouTube or a smartphone was, never celebrated his birthday. Instead, he fought a leopard, raised cows (to get a wife) and built the only school in the area.
Alex, and in fact Sheng’en Oleshao, a warrior from a semi-nomadic Maasai tribe in Tanzania, shares with me the impression of seeing ‘the Western world’ for the first time. He wonders why white people keep dogs on a leash, what they need spaceships or lawn mowers for. He can’t understand why women want to lose weight, how people can kiss in the street and why cars go so fast. And above all, he does not understand why everyone here is convinced that he would like to live in Europe.
In the evening Robert and Alex are sitting in the garden. They are looking at the sky. “Why do people fly into space?” Alex suddenly asks.
“They wonder what’s there. They want to see if there is life somewhere else”, says Robert.
“Madness. There is life here” comments Alex.
“And when you look in the sky, what do you think then?” the host asks him.
“That the stars are far away and they are empty. There may be life out there somewhere, but it doesn’t matter to me,” reveals Alex with sincerity.
“Have you heard about Mars? Another planet that people want to fly to,” Robert asks him.
“What for?” wonders Alex.
“To see what it looks like and see if there is water there. Maybe in the future, life on Earth will end and thanks to travels to other planets we will survive and people will not die out.”
“You are looking for water on other planets, and there is no water on Earth in many places. In Africa, so many people are starving because of drought. And the ships don’t fly to us. Why?” asks Alex.
Robert shrugs,”And what was I supposed say to him?”