The Wishing Tree

by Jo Ann Taylor - Co-founder of Walking Connection and iConquer Adventures


In a land far, far away there is a tree... a very special tree.


Some might pass it by thinking it is another ordinary fig tree, even though it has a commanding presence overlooking the renowned Ngorongoro Crater of Tanzania fame.  But for the Ilkisongo Clan of the Maasai, this special tree has historically held spiritual significance.


In reverence it is called "Oreteti."

Oreteti is considered akin to a god and through time has been a place where older women have gone to pray and to make a wish for healing, for ending a drought or other adversity.


To cement their wish they would leave a metal or beaded bracelet among the branches. Over the years their bangles have slowly become part of the tree, almost as if Oreteti is absorbing the misfortune to take any pain away.


As tradition continues all those who pass

take a small handful of grass and place it at the base

and sit quietly for a moment as a sign of respect.


You too can honor tradition in Tanzania, far away from the flurry of tourists. Amidst the stillness of Africa take the opportunity to walk to the shade of Oreteti. For a moment in time perched high on the Ngorongoro Crater Rim reflect on your good fortune of being where you are and make a wish...


Sadly at this moment in time we can not walk to the shade of Oreteti amidst the stillness of Africa. Instead we must #stayhome and #shelterinplace in our own corner of the world.

Yet as the planet takes a deep breath

we can still seek the healing power of nature.

"Although the views from my neighborhood are not amazing or awe-inspiring, I find joy and comfort in looking at the clouds off to the West or the poppies blooming along the fence of a vacant lot."

-- Kathi from Lompoc, CA

As a stillness settles over the world, wherever you may walk,

the air is cleaner -- the sky bluer -- the grass greener.

Your own Oreteti is there waiting to be discovered,

just open your eyes...and make a wish...


Come Walk With Me!


Join us in Tanzania this fall for an unforgettable visit to Oreteti.


Thank you to Nomad Tanzania for providing the photos and information for this story

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