Datoga Smiles and The Necessity Of Travel


Big smiles and laughter. Such a beautiful face.

It was 2010 and I was in Tanzania near the Ngorongoro Crater – amazing place by the way – and my guide Chili and I were visiting with a woman and her three children from the DaToga tribe.


Clapping and singing for their audience of two

The foursome graciously invited us into their home of mud and wood. Lit only by cracks in the walls made of wood, dung and mud, it was so dark inside I had to ask them to stand by the doorway to take a picture.

The kids sang me songs while I shot photos. I showed them the results on my camera’s LCD and they burst into giggles and excitement, singing and dancing for nearly 20 minutes so they could see themselves again and again.


The scars on this woman’s face signify that she’s married

Their mother was more reserved, but very sweet. I could see by her expression that she enjoyed watching her kids have fun and we fell into a relaxed visit that was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.


Sweet but a bit shy, this little girl loved to see her image in the LCD after every shot

This is what travel is all about: special moments like this, shared with people you meet along the way.We didn’t speak each others’ language but thankfully, smiles (and an LCD) are universal.

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