Lucas Mollel is a Maasai. That means that as a young boy, he helped herding the goats. One year, the lack of rain did not only cause a drought, it also changed Lucas. It made him promise that he would not just sit around and wait for the gods to give them rain, he was going to go out and do something else. Something that would make money so he could help his family. And that is exactly what Lucas still says to this day, in his adult life, when you ask him why he left the Maasai village to get a job: “I could not just sit around and wait for rain”.
So Lucas got a job in a nearby lodge in the Southern part of the Serengeti. He started small, did whatever he could, he had no experience with tourism or hospitality, spoke only Maasai. But he learned. He grew. When the company I work for, took over the lodge, Lucas was the driver of the tractor and he was part of the deal, part of the stock and furniture so to speak. What a bargain that was.
Lucas aspired for more and so for 3 years he saved his salary and his part of the tips to go back to school. When he studied, he still kept working, and the manager at the time, did pop quizes with him during work on what he was studying.
Lucas studied wildlife and tourism and he became a driver guide. A good one. And he still does that today. Much to the enjoyment of our guests, and himself, with a perpetual smile. People love him. One of the guests liked him so much, she bought him a camera. And not just any camera, a state of the art, fancy thing with a big zoomlens.
So every time when Lucas comes back from safari, I ask if I can download his pictures. At first out of curiosity. Not to my surprise some were not sharp, some clumsily framed, he is still getting the hang of it but he is a quick learner. But some are natural gems. Just like Lucas himself.