Even our last day was still a busy one. In the first half of the afternoon we attended the stories of our cities exhibition, I was surprised that when we got there, providing it was the opening day, not much was set up, so we got stuck in and helped. The photos on display were all really good, the ones from Nairobi were pretty cool. It was nice to see the contrast and similarities between Brighton and Nairobi through photography.
In the second half of the day it was a task of hunting down Masi Markets for last minute gifts to ourselves or others, it didn’t go too well. Luckily for us the airport had a couple of gift shops so it wasn’t too bad.
Being in Kenya was a great experience, its a shame it had to end!
After the events of the safari we made an early start and headed back to Nairobi. The road back was a lot bumpier than I remember, it was made worse by sitting at the back of the van…feeling a little car sick was an understatement!
On the journey back we stopped over at Rift Valley again, the views were still amazing. We were supposed to visit the stories for our cities exhibition a day early for a community turnout, apparently it was a good afternoon but after the journey it just seemed too much to attend. Instead we returned to Hartebeast camp, and celebrated our last night in Nairobi in style.
The bumpy ride to the Massi was well worth it, the safari was awesome! Seeing 4 out of the big 5 animals was amazing, not only did we see them we managed to get so close to them. Giraffes are actually massive, the elephants were just amazing, the male lions were crazy close to the van, i was surprised how un-flustered they were by anything.
All was well until the dear mini- van broke down, not even the bar of soap could stop the oil leak 😉 being towed was pretty funny although at times there were near- whiplash situations, the posh safari van that came to the rescue first looked comfy, but you can’t beat a bit of towing across a safari. Good things come out of a bad situation though, we got to stay on the Masi Mara for the night, glamping in some luxary tents. If we hadn’t of broken down we would never have seen the sun set over the game reserve and the sun rise on the masi, breaking down isn’t all that bad.
On the 17th we took the long road to Lake Victoria. When we reached the lake the views were pretty amazing, it was nice to get the chance to see it.
The village of Ndhiwa was small and along with the community that goes with it. Therefore the amount of people that stepped of off the Rongo bus when we arrived seemed like what can only be described as an invasion. As the point of being there was a community meeting the number of us that was there completely outnumbered the members of the community that turned out. Throughout the community project effective communication with a community was a key point, here was an example of how a lack of or a breakdown of communication between Rongo and the community may lead to ineffective meetings that may be intimidating for the community.
I’m not sure of the ideas or solutions that came out of this visit because of the different voices that were being heard, other than that it was nice to see other parts of Kenya.
Today we traveled to Migori in hope of meeting the Governor of the ward… it turned out he was in Nairobi.
Instead the deputy Governor took the meeting, he seemed a little overwhelmed with our presence. The meeting was a way of Rongo University showcasing the developing partnership between Brighton University (CM4K) and Youth Development Voice. Rongo University were offering a similar collaboration between the youth community in Rongo and the community members in Migori.
Later we headed back to Rongo to finish editing the content from the interviews and putting all together on Audacity. After the podcast was uploaded to soundcloud the group were unhappy with the descion made earlier to overlap the Swahili speakers with an English translation, it seemed the audio was to distorted and hard to listen intently to. Unfortunately it was too late in the day to edit this further, therefore the decision was made that I would make the tweaks and re- upload the podcast to soundcloud. It was a shame that we could produce the final edit on the final day of the workshop but we worked hard to try to! The group I worked with were great, they were always enthusiastic which made the workshop easier to do, it also made the problems we encountered manageable.
We visited a local village near Rongo to witness the gold mining process along with the lifestyles lived by those who both work and live there. It was an eyeopener.
Before the interviews were conducted we were reminded that it was important to create a friendly rapport with the community members and the interviewers in order to build up a brief and trusting relationship. At first it was a struggle to capture interviews as some locals did not want to be recorded in fear that the government my get wind of the material. The audio group did a good job of working through this problem by discussing what and the information would be used for.
After the visit had happened the editing was suppose to begin…. this was until we encountered editing and technical problems… however this were solved by Peter. During these workshops I have learnt to make use of the resources that you have available and make do with them. For example, we had to listen to the audio on one computer and edit the audio using another, the group communicated brilliantly with each other to overcome the difficulty of the situation.
On the 14th of January the workshops began at Rongo University. I was looking forward to working in partnership with the students to create a collaborative audio project. In the morning we lots of meetings and greetings of staff members from the principle to the deans of the schools. After the formalities had finished Angela and myself met the audio group we would be working alongside. All the participants seemed enthusiastic about the collaboration and interesting in learning the process of pod casting.
Mind- mapping was our first point of call, again this was a successful process of developing ideas that the local community may be facing. The main idea that came from this process was poverty, with the main focus on food insecurity. The participants believed food insecurity is both a national and localised problem that needs addressing in Kenya.
The lectures at Rongo uni were at hand to help facilitate the workshops, for example, Dr. Fred advised the group to look at this issue using a critical discourse when creating the podcast in order for it to be well- rounded an more importantly of interest.
In planning the group have decided to go out into the local community and ask women and the youth how food insecurity effects them. The women they found women of interest is because of the traditional link the women have to the home, they are the foundation and providers for the family therefore they are more likely to be affected. I am looking forward to delving into this subject tomorrow even though I am aware it will be hard- hitting.
Finally, Rongo’s hospitality is great. It is ironic to think (considering the issue used in the podcast and the poverty surrounding us) or say that I don’t think I’ve had as many courses of food as I have here. However, I did enjoy the chorus of chicken killings that happened during dinner and part- way through Gerry’s speech, what a way to finish the day.
On Sunday we started our bumpy and jumpy ride to Rongo University, with planned visit to a primary school in the village of Loundi.
My experiance at Kingsway Prepatory School is one that will be hard to forget. On arrival we were greatly welcomed by both staff and students who all joined in in singing welcoming songs. These songs continued, everytime we entered a different classroom the room was filled with voices. The idea behind the trip here was to film and photograph areas of the school in order to create a promotional video to make people aware of the fact that the school are in need of electricity to supply the school. Whilst there the director gave us a tour of the school and its grounds, we were shown a well that was in the process of being constructed, it is vital that this well gets finished as at present school children are still having to walk up to 3km in order to collect water to provide the school. This results in the students missing part of their education, vital for them to have in order for them to fulfill their life aspirations.
After this visit will all jumped back on the Rongo bus to continue onto Rongo University College. When we arrived we were greatly received by staff members. After the long journey it was nice to finally arrive there!
After the struggles faced yesterday in the audio workshop, I was feeling better about training in the editing process especially after we successfully caught the podcast yesterday… That was until I switched on the dictaphone to find the file missing…
Where a problem arises a solution can almost certainly be found. This is important to note as Angela and I ran into a few small problems again today…Equipment and technological mainly. As we couldn’t find the podcast file Kevin, the only participant to show in the first half of the morning kindly took the reins decided to re- record the podcast entirely. He was kind and supportive even though the workshop was not going to plan. After he recorded his podcast, again the file failed to be located. Taking James’ ‘don’t ever give up’ notion into account We finally have a podcast saved, thanks to the five different sound recorders going at one time!
We were pushed for time today, explaining audacity had to be done in the blink of an eye, but Kevin who felt confident about the software said he would show the other participants how to use it, this pinpoints the ‘train the trainers’ idea that is a focus of the workshops, helping others to learn and become knowledgable.
Peter suggested that instead of editing together Angela and I would edit the podcast and so would the participants separately . This way we see how the issues in the podcast are seen through the eyes of students and of our community partners.
Today was a big learning process for me, I think I was able to adapt well to the challenging situation we found ourselves in and still deliver content and knowledge to the participants even though it was quick. As Chaz pointed out on the bus ride home ‘if you don’t make mistakes you can’t learn’. It’s about fostering the mistakes, reflecting on processes that didn’t work and finding a solution to these problems… And if there isn’t a solution… Adapt!