On our last day in Kenya we took some time out to relax in the sun and recount our experiences throughout the trip. We said our fair wells to all the staff at the Hartebeest camp that had taken such good care of us during our visit, but for myself it felt like a ‘see you again soon’ rather then a final goodbye as I thought about how I could continue to contribute to the project beyond the trip. I felt ready to return home and see friends and family, but equally I knew how instantaneously the memories accumulated over the trip would create a longing to go back.
Reflecting on the trip itself and the work we committed ourselves to during the two weeks we were there, I feel lucky and extremely grateful for the opportunity to be able participate in such an ambitious project that has some real potential. I have learnt how important it is to humble yourself before all people you encounter no matter your position or their own, to see and participate in such work in which every individual involved has a say of equal validity and with considerable effect on the direction of the project is exciting and something that I have not seen before in my working life. With no emphasis on status or positioning the ethos of community media for Kenya holds everyone at equal distance from each other, I think that this is were the work gets it’s strength from and I hope that this ideal can be maintained as well as can be as the project continues to grow.
From working with university students in Nairobi to the safari on the Masai Mara each and every experience has been eye opening and enriching. I have learnt more about myself and the world around me on the two week trip than any text book has ever taught me. The skills and knowledge I have learned from this trip will serve me well in the future, but more then that the trip has given me a heightened sense of respectful humility for culture and people that cannot be learned.
Visiting Kenya has been something I have wanted to do for a long time and something that I will not be able to forget. The way in which this project allowed us to do so felt like the right way to approach outreach work, and will be the only way I can see myself working in similar projects in the future. Peter’s mantra of ‘learning from experience’ has proven to be the best way to learn. I hope that my experience’s in Kenya will feed further experiences positively back in the U.K. and I look forward to continued contributions to the project and to seeing it evolve.