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My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah
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My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  274 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Growing up in suburban Illinois, Robin Wiszowaty leads a typical middle-class American life. Hers is a world of gleaming shopping malls, congested freeways, and neighborhood gossip. But from an early age, she has longed to break free of this existence and discover something deeper. What it is, she doesn't quite know. Yet she knows in her heart there simply has to be more. ...more
ebook, 289 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Not Avail (first published 2009)
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Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting life story. I loved reading about the Maasai lifestyle and culture and how welcoming they were to this foreign visitor. I love how much she identified with them and became a part of their family life. I loved the tips at the end on how to get more involved in charitable or development work, as well. A really great read.

There were two things that I didn't like about the book. First, the lack of proofreading: there were so many typos and grammatical errors as to be very distract
Sep 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first started reading this book, I immediately became hesitant about whether I'd like the story or not. I mean, the main character (the author) starts out as a kind of bratty, spoiled girl -- who considers herself to be some unique and beautiful snowflake not meant to be held down by the trappings of modern society... or something.

Thankfully, she became more likable as I kept reading.

Despite a couple small typos, it's a very well-written story. I'm not sure how fictionalized it is or if i
Jul 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tinea by: book exchange at work
There are a lot of books that explain a litany of African and developing country issues for Western audiences. This is a good one. She basically wrote a book about her study abroad year living with a Maasai homestay in rural Kenya. I recommend doing the real thing, but this book is an interesting, enjoyable read with some good wide eyed analysis, adventure, and story. The most unique part of this book is that Wiszowaty actually attended a female circumcision ceremony, giving her nuanced, thought ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
An inspirational story about a girl from Schaumburg (like me) who is tired of the suburban life and feels she doesn't fit in. She travels to Kenya for a school trip for a year. She lives in a small Maasai village and lives a traditional African life with her adoptive family. She feels a sense of belonging she has never felt before. Very insightful first-hand account of life in rural Africa and what it's like to completely flip your world view. Very eye-opening
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and how the author told the story, I felt as if I was travelling and experiencing everything with her
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From My book review blog Rundpinne.

My full review is located here.

"...My Maasai Life is an extraordinarily beautiful and blunt look at life in Kenya, primarily in Maasailand, through the eyes of a young, middle-class American whose experience living as part of the Maasai proves to be an invaluable lesson. Wiszowaty writes about her experiences in a beautiful and reverent manner, the reader will feel as though they are witnessing what Robin is experiencing as she takes the reader through the d
Theory: many memoirists would benefit from writing the book, then scrapping the first chapter and writing it anew.

As far as 'white girl moves to Africa' books go, this was a surprisingly good one. I'll admit to some disappointment that the author wasn't more, well, confidently badass, but I think you could successfully argue that she proved her badassery in quieter ways.

What works so well here is that she does obvious growth over the course of the book. As she finds her way in a new culture, she
KatherineJ Barrett
Wiszowaty is an intriguing character. Clearly bright and confident, she portrays herself as alternately super-naive or ultra-competent. Boarding her flight to Kenya, she stops and wonders if she has her passport: “You need a passport to go to another country, don’t you?” Once in Nairobi, however, she soon hops a matatu across town on her own, then heads out to Maasailand in the back of a pick-up truck. She acknowledges that she didn’t know what language Kenyans spoke before she arrived the count ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heroes
Robin Wiszowaty never felt she belonged in suburban Illonois. She was angry and looking for a purpose. Spending a year living with a Masai family in rural Kenya gave Robin her purpose: International Development. She eventually became a speaker for Me to We, and a facilitator for their trips to Africa.

In this book, part memoir, part call to action, Robin details her journey and shows readers how she found peace, love and purpose in Africa. Written primarily for the youth market, Robin spares the
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Non-fiction book by a girl who grew up in Schaumburg. I loved the book. There were times I would purposely put off reading because I didn't want to be finished too fast! It tell of Robin's year living with a Massai family in Kenya. They lived in a hut with a dirt floor and no running water. It talks of her interactions with other villagers and how she decides to live her life after Africa. I thought it was well-written, interesting and kept you wanting to know what would happen next. It was a pr ...more
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting story!
I don't think I would have gotten into this book or enjoyed it if I had not actually been to Kenya and interacted with Maasai men myself. I think the saving grace for this book is that she takes the Maasai warrior into the city for the first time ever and that gives her the chance to present us with not only her analysis of The Maasai culture, but also a Massai's analysis of the more modern world.
Not the best written book ever, but I really enjoyed following her through he
The author's experience as an American university student living for a year with a traditional Maasai family in a remote village in Kenya was really interesting and she presents lots of information and stories clearly. But her writing is nothing special. Competent enough to get the point across, but nothing imaginative or original. The book even contains several grammar mistakes and incomplete sentences. But overall, worth reading if you're interested in knowing more about the Maasai.
Anne Detwiler
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mesmerizing. Inspiring. Passionate. These were my impressions of Robin Wiszowaty after hearing her speak at our school about becoming a part of a Masai family in Kenya. Themes include; cultural identity, international aid and development work, Masai cultural identity, education, health, finding one's purpose and creating opportunities and change.
Chapters Rideau
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alannah says: "This book inspired me to learn more about the maasai culture. It led me on 2 adventures through rural Kenya. These trips taught me invaluable lessons. I talked with the local mamas, participated in a water walk and worked side-by-side the local community members. It’s a must read for anyone looking for an inspiring, enthusiastic book. Asante Sana Kenya!"
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. Was nice to read more about the Maasai perple. Robin reminded of me moving away at a young age to live with people from another culture and all that is learned from this experience. But she has developed her experience into a lifestyle of helping and this is inspiring. A bit preachy at the end but other than that, a good read.
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A good book for youth/young adults. Inspiring, although I felt like the book just ended without resolution of her relationship with Samuel. (Perhaps she's planning a sequel?) Could have used more editing in terms of repetition of words, sentence structure, etc., but a good effort.
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this and her experiences in Kenya, with the Maasai, and her work following. After spending two weeks in Kenya and getting to know and better understand the Maasai culture and people this was especially interesting to read.
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very honest and moving account of a young woman finding her way and deciding her own purpose in life. Easily read but riddled with error that should have been edited out. A passionate plea to young people to take stock and commit themselves to a meaningful, fulfilling life of their choosing.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Maasai Life is a fascinating look at Maasai culture, told from the perspective of Robin Wiszowaty when she moves from the United States to live with a family in rural Kenya. Robin's stories about her experiences living in such a remote community are very interesting and have much to teach us.
Jen Winter
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one. The beginning seemed to be written by a young lady and the second half by an adult whose eyes have been opened. Very enjoyable tale that will hopefully shine a light on the African struggles and our privileged life in North America.
Monica Savage
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic story about the way others live with so much less than we do and the contributions we can all bring to these underdeveloped areas! A truly inspiring story about the warmth of cultures we know little about and the options to help those who truly need it!
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Inspiring.
At first I thought it would just be about a college girl not knowing what to do with her life, and just about her searching for herself. But it ended up being very interesting, with lot of info on Maasai culture, without any prejudice.
Katy Mason
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In depth, personal view on what life was like as a Maasai from an outsiders perspective. Acclimating with a whole new world proved to be an amazing, insightful adventure for Robin. It was incredible to be a part of her experience & transformation.
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was very interesting to learn about the life in a Maasai tribe. I wasn't aware of how they lived and the challenges they face. It makes you appreciate what we have in the western society.
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Captivating story.
Justine  Smith
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read if you are going to Kenya on a mission,weather it be a medical mission that I did or a building,church mission or anything else.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Purabi by: me to we store
Loved it and didn't want it to end.
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought of my friend Natasha the whole time I was reading this!
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She is an impressive woman, and continues to earn respect. An easy read, also out of the U of MN.
Kara Martone
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robin came and spoke at my school. She was fascinating and so was her book!
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