Day 2: A whole new World

We’ve woken up much more refreshed, but Kenya really is testing us!

We woke up to find that the shower pressure was gone…because our bus had crashed into the generators! Even though the back windows had smashed, we drove on anyway! 😂


When we arrived at university, there was a teacher strike! Because of this the wifi was taken down and so we couldn’t start our lesson, and the building was locked for our protection! Strikes are different to those in England; they still happen as regularly, but they can turn violent. If you are part of a union and choose to carry on working, you can be dragged away and killed. The teachers strike has only been going on for 3 days, but a strike of public sector doctors has lasted 35; its still unclear though, for me at least, which country’s protest methods are better; there is constant corruption whether you go in the world. Will we ever find peace? Only through understanding and listening, such as the peace between students of different religions here, can there ever be hope.

We had our introductionary lecture reminding us about community learning, and then we went outside to play games to learn names and introduce the whole group together. Whilst some have Christian names, it is a struggle to learn them all. On the other hand…they know all of ours from the Facebook group! Daisy is especially popular because of her red hair, but I am being refferred to as ‘Mr Bon’ and feel very special; in fact, I’m quite ashamed I didn’t take the time to get to know them more before we came, as they are so happy we are here. We played many British and Kenyan games (they LOVE bulldog!), and ended taking just sooooo many photos. It’s interesting: we don’t really know each other well yet, and so I feel we are objectifying each other? We are just taking pictures because of the uniqueness of the situation, which we will then show to friends who will equally be in awe? Of course it’s because we are all excited, I just found it interesting the sheer amount of photos the students take (though they tell me this is a common occurance!). I am so happy we are all together. Other school children came along and watched, and whilst I was uncertain over giving them pencils and paper, they were so grateful for them: Kenya is grateful for everything.

My most profound memory so far is us saying to the students ‘sing us a song!’….and they sang Lush Life by Zara Larson! The idea of music bringing people together is what gave me my first connections when we going to university, and it is now clear it is not only through Britain, but through the world. There will always be common connections and emotions, whether I go. I am never truly, alone. 😌



At the end of the day while we were all eating, my table started talking deeply and honestly about so many random topics, and I cried. I haven’t cried at uni in such a long time. I cried that I’ve known these people for three years and know so little about how they feel towards the world, and how I have 3 essays (9000 words) to write as soon as I get home, due in a couple of weeks with no breaks. This is a INCREDIBLE experience, and I’m learning things a classroom never has, and I’m having FUN. I need to live in the moment; we ended the day as a celebration, drinking and playing stupid games up until late into the night. Don’t underestimate the feelings of worry we have, in whether it is right to be here, if what we are doing is the right thing. But everyone is so happy and excited that we are here. I can’t wait for tommorow.

Rob ✨

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Day 1/2 

We have finally arrived in Kenya it’s taken a while and everyone is very tired and worn out but we’re all very excited to start working with the community’s. We have arrived at Rongo university on the first day which is about 30min from our accommodation. They are a really good group of people and are very skilful about media and are very good with technology they may even be better editors than some of us however they do use different software to us. 

We all had a group intrusion from the vice chancellor, Peter and the principle. They spoke to us about the plan for the two weeks and what they wanted us to achieve and how we are meant to interact with the community and the university students. After we finished the introductory lecture we went to the lawn to play games and learn all of our names there is in total about 40 Of and we all relaxed making friends and getting to know eachother and taking lots of Pictures.  

All 3 of our meals are provided at the university so we stay there till 6. The food is really nice and different all homemade. It’s a very welcoming aptomoshpe and they make you feel very comfortable and welcome. The rest of our day consisted of going to collect supplies from in town and exploring and then relaxing as group and discussing the work we will be carrying out in the community. Overall it was a very good first few days 

Day 1: What a rush! 

We’ve arrived! It’s been over 24 hours (it’s 4am!) and we finished our trip on a tiny carrier plane; we are really going head first, into such a rural place; Rongo!
The main thing I’ve realised, is that Kenya really is not represented in the Media. I have no connotations of the country, it’s just bundled up into the poor, sad, and forever doomed charity adverts of Africa from Water Aid and Save The Children. All the children go to school and our in uniform, and everyone appears like they have a job to do. There are so many buildings, all made of corrogated iron or stone panted in bright colours. Food, is plentiful! The people are happy 😊


The University has been incredibly kind to us. We have been told ‘Welcome!’ many times, and have been given a great circular complex all to ourselves to live. The poverty limit is really high, and really puts life into perspective that even when they have nothing, they give us everything with such kindness and generosity. We get the accommodation (and 3 meals a day!)…. for free!


However, there are dangers here. We went into their town, and so many people are on the street selling, and many shops are hidden behind bars. We’re being called ‘Mzungu’ by everyone going past, and the girls are very clearly getting unwanted attention. Without our guides Ema and Irene we would certainly not have a clue on what shops to go in, and would really be ripped off. This may be a great experience, but we need to be aware we are new.


We’re completely exhausted and very stressed, and our really puzzled over the concept of ‘Kenyan time’, in that nothing ever really goes to plan. Hopefully tommorow will bring some clarity 😊

Rob ✨

Celebrating the success of our friends

Tomorrow our good friends and partners at the University of Rongo celebrate their Graduation Day. Below is a lovely piece outlining what our friends in Rongo feel about CM4K.

We wish all the students and staff who we have worked with, and who have supported us so generously, a happy day of well deserved celebrations. We wish you all good luck  wherever your futures lie. Stay in touch.

Asante wote

Bahati nzuri wapenzi

Back In the UK

As I reminisce on the whole trip, I can not thank Peter enough for this wonderful experience. I got to visit another Country in Africa, and at the same time meet another amazing group of people.

Not only did we as a bunch of students go out to Kenya with the intention of teaching students about the importance of community media and collaborative participatory learning, I also learned a lot of stuff myself. I got to harness and develop skills I didn’t even know I had. I got to think more because I didn’t have other people to depend on, this time people were depending on me. I learnt alot about myself and I also got to get close to my peers from the University of Brighton. They are such a sweet bunch.

I  want to thank Isabelle and Rongo University for all their hospitality, they showed us immense love when we were there.

Once again, I thank you Kenya for showing me your culture, and giving me a bit on insight into your tradition. Believe it or not, I did pick up a few words in swahili while I was out there.

But, for now, I say goodbye, and cannot wait to welcome a few of you for our CM4K exhibition held here in Brighton. (Karibu Brighton)

Thank you Peter and the CM4K family. This is great work, and I hope this project continues to grow.

For now, I am signing out.

Kx :*

Day 6 (Flamingo Day) and Day 7 (Leaving Rongo and Journey to Massai Mara)

The intention of day 6 was to go to Simbi Lake and look at some Flamingos, but to our dismay, there were little or no flamingos in sight. It just ended up being a nice picnic day for everyone.

When we returned to the university, I didn’t realise how emotional it would be for me as I had grown so attached to the students. They are such a nice bunch of people. They literally made my experience as amazing as it was in Rongo. I will miss them.

Day 7, we packed up and said our goodbyes to Rongo uni. I was very excited about the Mara because I had heard so much about it.

Our Journey to Narok, as usual was very bumpy as the roads outside Nairobi are just filled with tooooo many speed bumps.

We met Rufus at Kobil Filling station in Narok and he journeyed us all the way to the Mara.

The Journey there was some what of a funny one, we had like 20mins of clear smooth road, and then all of a sudden we went into this awfully rough bumpy ride, gosh that was an experience and a half. It was quite funny though, we got to see some amazing animals on the way, we saw the Zebra, antelope, Giraffe, WIld beast, monkeys and the normal cattle. I was really amazed to see the Zebra, I had never seen one before. It was just amazing to see all the beautiful creatures of God.

We arrived at our camp site after about 100mins of bumpy ride. we just off loaded our stuff and was off to the Mara. Upon getting into the gates of the Mara, there was this Mob of Massai Mara women trying to sell us stuff, it was quite scary.

The Mara was beautiful, got to see an elephant for the first time. I saw baby cubs and also saw the buffalo that was killed by lionesses earlier on in the day. It was just a beautiful day. and to round it all off, we got an amazing sunset in the evening as we were leaving the safari to go back to the camp site for the evening.

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Beautiful Giraffe posing. 🙂

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Lioness

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The elephant. Boy, this animal can eat. 🙂

Day 5 (Final Editing day at Rongo)

In my group we basically just worked on putting our production together. Peter had informed Lola and I, that if we don’t get it done in time we could always finish up in Brighton, which was great, because it already seemed like this project was going to take longer that the one at KU.

Lola and I went over the structure of the Podcast, and added new things to it, then we decided that the students at Rongo needed to have more of a say in our podcasts so we decided to do some more recording, which we would later work on in Brighton.

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Day 4 (Rest day and Editing)

Today Peter decided to give us the morning off which was great, I decided to use this time to get my hair done and work on my blogs. In the Afternoon we got into our groups and started working on our editing.

We had so much content in the audio group that I had to come up with a structure in which to organise it, because according to Lola, I am quite good at that. J. I had started working on it and realised that we needed some voice-overs on our podcasts so we as students needed to do some recording. I decided to write a script and we all got to work. I must mention that I am very proud of the students at Rongo. They are ever so willing to work. Very great work ethic to have, and that also made me very conscious of being idle.

Although I could hardly get any work done because they all wanted to work on my computer, which was also great, we all got to participate in collaborative learning.

X

Day 3 (Homabay, Lake Victoria)

We went to visit the famous lake which I had heard so much about since I got to Kenya, but before this, we were supposed to be meeting up with the district commissioner of Homabay county, but she was busy, so we just carried on to the lake.

When I got to the lake, I was so eager to get down and see the market and the water, but as soon as I got off the bus, to my dismay I noticed there massive birds, which immediately I was so terrified of. I suck shelter with Peter. J

We got down to the lake and we went on a boat ride in the lake with some of the university students, but when we got off the boat about to get back on to the bus, I had observed that someone had died in the market community and their burial was taking place because I saw a casket. That kind of put a damper on my mood. Either way I was looking forward to heading back as Peter had promised all of us the afternoon off which I was quite pleased about because my body has been working on over time.

To my dismay I did not get that afternoon off. All I got was a nap in a hot bus while everyone else went to see the commissioner. The whole day was just wasted. My highlight was the lake. Atleast that night I got fed some fish, which was the absolute best.

X

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Massive Birds at the Lake 😦

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All of us on the boat ride at lake Victoria.

Day 2 (Luo Community)

Today we travelled to Homabay to watch the Kagan people perform their traditional dances for us. This was part of our task. Mr Jerry had already made it clear that we were not there for entertainment purposes alone, and that we should make sure we get our content for our production.

I wasn’t feeling too great today, as I had come down with a bad sore throat and terrible headaches. I felt bad because I was no use to my group, but being the amazing group they were, they got on with the task at hand, and lent a helping hand where I could.

We watched two dances, the ‘Tero Buru’ dance and the ‘Wedding’ dance. I must say they were both very interesting. The Tero Buru dance represented the chasing away of evil spirits after a male elder in their community dies, and the Wedding dance pretty much speaks for itself. All in all, it was pretty entertaining. I got to dance with the leader of the dance group despite the fact I wasn’t a 100%. Had a great day and got a chance to experience this.

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