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Travels with Moron?

When Ben Long, of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2007, won a prestigious Watson Fellowship in his senior year, the title of his year-long project was “Bovine Bonanza: The Changing Face of Cattle Farming.” He planned to explore how that agricultural pursuit is being transformed around the world. If his entire year resembled the opening few days, it proved more than fascinating.

Earlier this month, Intelligent Travel, a blog on the National Geographic website, published a two-part essay by Ben,  “Travels with Moron,” about how he became a traveler during those first few days in Tanzania, where he had gone to learn about the Maasai cattle culture.

He describes his arrival in Arusha and how he connected with a Maasai guide, Moses, who led him deep into the bush, where he wound up at a Maasai wedding, drinking moonshine and donating two cases of Coca-Cola. Really. And that’s only part of his story.

The moron reference? You’ll have to read the essay to find out what that was all about — it will be worth your while.

And you should also explore Ben’s wonderful photography from his trip on his Flickr page. It features images from India, Argentina, Australia, Namibia, South Africa and Malawi, as well as Tanzania.