With that, we understood each other, even though my Maa was as limited as his English. His name was Kipalonga, he told me with a jut of his chin. He was at the stage in life when Masai males are allowed to adorn themselves handsomely, roam unsupervised by elders, steal cattle, and flirt with girls. It's their version of spring break but with sharp weapons. My translator, a Masai junior elder named William Olesiara, had cautioned me to avoid these potentially lethal young men, but he was off somewhere conversing with other herdsmen. Despite that advice, I soon was cheerfully examining their carved wooden clubs as they swatted flies with my hand fan.