Mindy Budgor of Santa Barbara, California has has a book out about her adventures in Kenya, "training to become the world's first female Maasai warrior" and, naturally, "saving" the poor indigenous African people she encounters.
Basically, it's "Eat Pray Love" meets every white-savior-among-dark-natives movie ever.
And, the whole thing was some kind of aspirational sponsored content play? She references Under Armour throughout the book, wears the athletic apparel brand in Kenya photos, tried to get them to sponsor her, and says she lied about having a sponsorship from them, to her parents. Wut? See page 51-52 for starters, and the last graf on page one of the Glamour article.
That afternoon we headed into the bush. We brought nothing but the bare essentials (for me, that included a bottle of Chanel Dragon red nail polish—it just made me feel fierce—and a set of pearl earrings as a reminder of home) and our warrior gear: two tartan sheets that we would wrap around us as clothing, and the metal tips for our spears.
Lanet explained that typically, a group of 10 to 20 young men go through the rites of passage over a period of three to seven years. "Your situation is different, so we will need to compromise," he said. "We will test you as we go. If at any time we feel you are not up for the challenge, then I will take you back to Nairobi. But if you do well, we will introduce you to the community." He carefully selected six other warriors who would join us—he knew he'd need persuasive men on our side when we returned to the village.
I looked at those stone-faced, lean-bodied men and was terrified. Lanet sensed my trepidation. "I know you're scared," he said. "But these people have chosen to be with you. You must accept them as your family, or this is not going to work." I thought of Faith and the promise I had made, and I told Lanet I would learn to trust them, whatever it took.
Our first task was to collect leaves and branches to sleep on. That was backbreaking, but the hardest task came next: killing a goat. The Maasai suffocate their goats, which they believe is the most humane way to kill. I was petrified, but not about to wimp out on day one, so I held its mouth closed until it went limp. Another warrior slit its throat, then everyone stepped forward to drink fresh blood from its neck. I closed my eyes and did it. Minutes later I vomited.
You vomited? Yeah, me too.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.