Monday, January 6, 2014

JANUARY 2014 The Warrior Princess, by Mindy Budgor

***Please note the change in the date ***

After doing a bit of e-mail consultation I've decided to change the meeting date to:

Thursday, January 16  2014
Meeting at Trish's house, 5080 Airport Rd. E., Mount Hope
Meeting to begin at 7:30pm and we will try to begin discussion at 8:00pm

Hopefully this change works for those of us who are still reading the book and those of us who could not attend on the originally planned date.

 I don't know about you ladies, but I don't find the food of a warrior princess all that edible :) however, I did come across a few sites that have some Kenyan recipes that look edible ... Please do some searching on-line or follow the links I've included and we can try to bring an assortment of items that might resemble a Kenyan-type meal even if it doesn't reflect specifically what Mindy might have eaten while becoming a "Massai Warrior".   Please leave a comment to let us know what you hope to bring so we don't double up.  I will be sure to have plenty of milk on hand.

 http://www.whats4eats.com

 http://allkenyanrecipes.com/

Discussion Questions:
  1. Did you like the book? Why or why not?
  2. What is it about the Massai culture that Mindy admires? What motivates her to become a Massai Warrior? What are your thoughts on the choice she makes to become a warrior? Do you think it was right of her to do this?
  3. In some ways Mindy seems like a woman interested in women empowerment because she believes in the “cause” and yet on the other hand she is disappointed that the Massai Warrior has succumbed to 21st century conventions because he wears underwear? How much of this is real, how much is her wanting to make money? How much is she a generation X … self-absorbed … I can’t get a real job because I don’t know who I am… type of person who decides to go on a crusade to prove … what exactly? A white woman wants to do this for Maasai women? Does it work? What’s up with Under Armor … did she have a deal to write this book before she set out?
  4. Mindy says this early on in the book prior to her heading out to be a Massai Warrior: “…to be stripped of all that I had to lean on and be left alone with me. This was my opportunity to prove that I alone was enough” (I think it’s 17% into the book). Discuss this statement …….does she accomplish this?
  5. Why does Winston refuse to guide Mindy but Lanet is found willing?
  6. How does the author show that the Massai people have a deeply unfiltered connection with land, animals and humanity?
  7. Looked to Jesus but got no answers…turned to Elton and he told her to abandon her addictions. What does this say about Mindy, why did she include it in the book? Are her philosophical conclusions working … does she pull off true philosophy … or is this an angle of the book that doesn’t work?
  8. Do you think you would be able to eat the foods they ate out in the wild? (fresh warm animal blood, goat brain soup, etc.)
  9. About halfway into the book, Lanet says (to Mindy) “you need to figure out how to change your perception of yourself immediately … you need to believe in yourself. You need to believe that you have just as much reason to live as any other animal in the forest. Once you believe that, then you will be the lion”. Is Mindy’s fear a surprise? Does she overcome and become the lion? How do we look at “…you have just as much reason to live as any other animal in the forest…” in light of our worldview as Christians and our cultural mandate to subdue the earth? (Geneses 2: something)
  10. Again, about halfway into the book (but before # 8’s quote) Lanet says: “it is not a rite of passage to kill a lion, but it is still considered the ultimate honor by the community, … purely for self-protection” … “stay away from lions while still keeping them close”. Does Mindy do this? If so, how does she bring it out in the book? If not how does she fail?
  11. Discuss this quote * “I found myself judging their custom of whipping women versus making men give gifts for the act of falling in love. Even after all of the time I spent with the Maasai, I couldn’t help but feel anguish about women being beaten. Why was it not a universal agreement that no one – man or women- should hit or be hit based on behavior? Yes, there was injustice in every culture, but this struck a nerve and made me think I would pick and choose the values and principles I would retain from my Massai culture and which one I would reflect. Even if I had been born and bred Maasai, I would most likely not react any differently, but then I wouldn’t have the luxury to do so.” Mindy wants to accept parts of the Massai culture and reject other parts, what does she base her decisions on? Is this fair?
  12. How will giving women the option to become Massai Warriors help to preserve their culture? Will things change for the Maasi women?
  13. Will you recommend this book to your friends? Why or why not?


*Mindy, after observing the unhappy 12 year old bride, reflects on whether her becoming a moran would up I hoped that the introduction of women morans wouldn’t completely change the Maasai culture, which in my opinion needed to be protected. it was a question – was I stirring up a controversy that would irrevocably alter their way of life that I mostly admired?   

8 comments:

  1. I will bring a Kenyan stew and some ugali.

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    1. Will be a Swahili kuku chicken stew

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  2. Sounds like soup/stew night! I am debating between a pumpkin soup and a groundnut (peanut) soup. Or maybe both....

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  3. Kima Curry (ground round curry) and Chapatis (whole wheat flatbread)

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  4. I will bring Kenyan Nyama (stewed beef) and potentially chapati

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  5. never mind, just saw Karen's chaptais :)

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  6. I'm gonna try to find a dessert of some kind to make :)

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  7. I hope you guys had a good discussion. As a Maasai i cannot begin to explain how offensive and misleading this book is. Mindy was there to exploit and make money as simple as that. It takes up to 15 years for real Maasai's to be warriors, yet she did it in 3 month? She spend way over 90% of her time with men. If she was really interested in helping Maasai woman she shpuld have spend a little time with woman and she would have known that maasai woman are not trying to be warriors, they are trying to get education among many other things they are fighting for. Sad that many people believe her story. If any of you is interested in finding the truth just google her name and you will find many articles some written by Maasai woman.

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