Arrival and Kenyatta Uni!

Day One/Two: We arrived in Nairobi at around seven thirty at night and the climate change was  immediately recognizable. We got through customs without a hitch and made our way outside to meet our driver to take us to our apartment. The bus arrived quickly and we all got on and there was lots of space! Once we arrived at the apartment we were all shattered! It had been such a long plane journey so we had a few drinks and went to bed.

Our second day was an acclimatizing day and we spent our time preparing our kit for an intense workshop at Kenyatta University. We also explored the area around our apartment such as the shopping mall next door called ‘T-Mall’. In there was a supermarket, a food court and other shops. It was useful to have this so close by as we could get any extra food or water we needed for our trips.

Day Three: On the third day we travelled to Kenyatta University to meet around 30 Media and Film students there. When we arrived we met Willis the president of The National Youth Council, he is a very friendly and helpful man and was so kind and welcoming. Once everyone was settled in a hall speeches were made from members of staff from the uni as well as our lecture Peter and myself representing the students. I felt my own speech went well and I covered our expectations for the next three days such as two may learning and training the trainers.

Once the speeches were finished we split into our video, audio and photography groups and met the students that wanted to work with us. I was in the video group and at first we did find it very awkward. Being from completely different cultures means that it can be difficult to communicate with one another.

However, we followed our structure and within about half an hour things were going well, once we had the kit out it became clear that these students were as clued up as we were! Things began to slow down before lunch unfortunately as the students didn’t feel that had a real focus. All of the students were meant to be made aware of community media centers but something had slipped through the net. After lunch Willis made a speech on what community media centers were followed by Peter who made a great speech which really inspired all of the students, and us also!

Once we got back into our groups there was a real focus and direction. My group decided to their documentary about the gap between the rich and the poor. I worked with Kelly in my group and three students from Kenyatta uni. We began devising questions and setting up interviews and thinking about who we would interview as well as storyboarding. The day finished on a high and we were ready to film.

Day Four: On the fourth day we travelled back to the university where we were met by students of the uni, had an early lunch and after a bit more pre-production, jumped on the uni bus with our students. Willis was there also but he travel in the car with Peter. We were traveling to a town around two hours away called Ngong (pronounced Gong).

On the journey we discovered the ‘real’ Kenya and it was very upsetting, many rural communities survive on absolutely nothing at all and we saw children sitting around on rubbish and living in real slums.

Once we arrived in Ngong we met the assistant district commissioner who was welcoming and friendly to all, we also met the chief of the town who would be showing us around. The assistant commissioner made a speech and we all felt very proud to be meeting such an important man, and knew this would do great work for the idea of a community media centre.

After meeting the assistant commissioner we travel to meet a writer who owned a ‘sort of’ leisure area with games and a pool, although we would of all liked a dip in the hot weather we had work to do! So we spoke to him for a while but he spoke mostly in Kiswahili so it was difficult to understand, but of what he spoke in English he sounded very  knowledgeable and insightful.

Up until now we hadn’t had a chance to film yet but then we were taken to a primary school so this was a greta opportunity to ask the children about life in Ngong and the gap between the rich and the poor. We also went to an orphanage near by which was really unsetting for all of us to see but also a great chance for our groups to interview the chief and the ‘mother’ of the orphanage who was really sweet and provided some great footage for us. We then travelled back to the apartment and prepared for our final workshops the next day.

Day Five: In short the fifth day went from good to bad to good again. We started off well speaking to our group about how were going to edit our piece. We were planning to edit on Windows Movie Maker for its simplicity and you can (once you know the basics) begin to teach yourself. One member of our group had premier pro, a much more advanced editing software so we decided to use his as he was competent with it. Shortly before lunch we ran into technical difficulties and had to switch to Window Movie Maker, yet our group were not so keen on this idea and we began to split apart with Kelly and I working on one edit with Windows Movie Maker and the students from the uni working with premier pro. This of course was not meant to be the case and Kelly and I, along with the uni students began to get frustrated. However, once everything was finished we deiced this would be a good opportunity to compare and contrast the two editing softwares. The showing of our videos went well and the critical analysis and evaluation was really interesting and something that I and the other student will take away with them.

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