”I cannot do great things, but I can do little things with great love.Richard LaizerTour Leader, Dry to Green Adventures, Tanzania
Here’s his story:
“My name is Richard Simon Laizer. I am a Maasai coming from a very humble but highly fulfilling traditional family. I was born in 1957 and am the fourth child out of a family of eight children (4 girls and 4 boys). I had an opportunity to be educated at a middle school level. ”
How long have you worked in the tourism industry? Have you had other jobs before?
From 1973 to 1974 I worked as a woodwork chemicals mixing technician at a fiberboard factor. I had to quit this job for health reasons so in 1975 I moved to Nairobi to work at a furniture factory before changing to the hospitality industry.
From 1978 to 1986, I worked as a bar waiter at the Mount Meru Hotel. This career had a profound effect on my love of the “people’s industry”, hospitality and tourism. I had a desire to serve people.
I also worked for Dorobo Tours and Safaris as a camping support staff member; pitching tents in the wilderness, cooking for guests, and driving safari vehicles. The position helped me transition from hospitality to tourism. My love to serve people coupled with my knowledge of the wilderness, wildlife, environment, culture, and diversity made me ready to enter a much broader tourism industry as a professional tour guide. I have been working as a guide since 1987.
Tell us a little bit about your friends and family.
My family is composed of my wife Sharon, my daughter Diana, and my sons Steve and Augustino.
Tell us a little bit about what your country means to you.
I have a rich knowledge of African big game life and their interaction with nature and people. I grew up as a pastoralist and lived a harmonious life with the wild. Tanzania is full of sites that echo this harmony. The Serengeti which is full of endless plains and the big five. The Ngorongoro Crater a UNESCO world heritage site, and modern-day Eden. Lake Manyara with its famous tree-climbing lions that are different from those elsewhere. Tarangire National Park is home to large herds of elephants. Arusha, the capital city of the Maasai, which also contains a national park. I also enjoy the less-visited parks of Tanzania – Selous, Mikumi, Ruaha, Rubondo, Gombe, and Burgi – when you visit these, you will feel like you are the only person in the park.
Tanzania is home to many diverse cultures and tribes. The Hadzabe and Sandawe bushmen who still practice nature-based living and traditional hunting. The Maasai pastoralists who have a lifestyle that stretches from the wilderness of Ngorongoro to the Serengeti and have an untamed relationship between nature, wildlife, livestock, and people. Tanzania is the home to the most hospitable people who connect with the African philosophical meaning of life “Ubuntu” (Utu).
What is the best thing about your country?
Tanzania has the ability to change the lives of visitors intrinsically and extrinsically – connecting the visitor’s body, mind, spirit, and soul with the outer experience of wildlife, environment, people, and their social setting. Everyone leaves with a living memory of Tanzania as a magical tourist destination.
I am in the tourism industry for the love of people. This career enables me to connect my feeling towards people and the wild. I am driven by positive emotional processes to engage visitors into adventurous experience in a practical memorable manner.