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 :*

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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.

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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.

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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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My Rongo University Chronicles

Day 1 (Meet, Greet and Planning)

Oh, I forgot to say in my blog yesterday, every time I tried to get down to go to sleep on the bus, it just was not happening. The speed bumps on the streets of Kenya are immense. They are so many. The shaky ride didn’t allow me to get down.

Anyway, Today was one of my most tiring days of the trip. I think I was still so exhausted from the long drive to Rongo from Nairobi. I was up at 7am because we had to be up and out the door, waiting for the bus for 8am.

We basically did meet and greet with the students of Rongo, and Jerry gave us a briefing on our task for the week. We got into our various groups and started the planning for the project. I was really chuffed with the students at the Rongo University, as they too were eager to work and get this production under way.

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Trip to Rongo

I was quite excited for this trio because I absolutely love road trips. We had our final breakfast at the stopover and went to finish up our packing. The bus arrived at about 9:30am, and we were on the road by about 10 minutes to 10. I was already expecting it to be a 7 hour drive like Peter already told us, so I managed to get a really comfortable space on the bus. 20 minutes into the journey of me gazing at the scenery and the buildings, I had already started sleeping, which is so typical of me.

About an hour or so into the trip, we got to a really beautiful area called Rift Valley. We stopped to take some pictures. There were two volcanic mountains there like the lady informed me. As we embarked back on our journey we saw some baboons just casually walking on the road. That was funny for me. And I observed on the way, that a lot of animals just roamed the streets. I must say the scenery on our journey, REALLY BEAUTIFUL. Really just reminded me of Lion King. Lol.

After about another 2 and half hours on the bus, we stopped over for some lunch and a wee. When I got there, I observed a massive bird, and being the scaredy cat I am of thing that fly, Peter was kind enough to be my shield. J. Got to the loo, and it was appalling. No clean water to wash your hands and not water to even flush, and yet at the door they were demanding 20 shillings to keep it clean.

Then we got to the actual restaurant to eat. The customer service was poor and the prices were just inflated for nothing. The food looked like nothing to write home about. They mixed up the orders and were not even apologetic. Oscar and I ordered things on the menu that they didn’t have in stock. Instead of them to tell us they didn’t they just watched us sit there until Isabelle (sweet lady from Rongo university that came to pick us up) had to ask about it. I just was not happy about the whole thing that I was not interested in eating what they had to offer, so Isabelle took Oscar and I to another restaurant on the way and we had a takeaway.

After another loo break, we got to Rongo at about 8:30pm. There were some students present to do meet and greet and we had some dinner, Then Mr Jerry took us to the place we would be staying for the week. We all had a glass of wine and went off to sleep.

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Baboon, casually on the road to Rongo

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Rift Valley.

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View from the Rift Valley

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The Pilau rice I had on my Journey

Day 5 (Exhibition and Market Day)

I woke up a bit early today, because Safi had called me from London to tell me that the airline was not letting her and her kids on the flight because their passports were expiring within 6 months, and it is the law not to let them travel out if your passport is expiring within 6 months. So that was a big downer to my morning. I had a slow morning. I had my breakfast late and my shower late. Peter was so sympathetic that morning, because I think he was a bit sad that Safi couldn’t come too.

The girls and I went to the market with Rufus that morning and Peter, Lewes and Oscar stayed home to catch up on sleep and finish up with the editing for the video and radio production.

At the market I got some really good bargains. I got them at a stall from a lady called Pumpkin. She was a really nice lady. All of us got a few bits from the market. We had to leave on time because we needed to make it back in time for the exhibition.

On the way back we stopped over at the view point of Nairobi to take a few pictures. It was such an amazing view of the city.

We picked the boys up and went off to the exhibition. When we got there was a bit of commotion going on, because there were just a lot of events going on at that time. I had a chance to view the amazing images from the photography group, but was not able to watch the video or hear the audio because of all the noise. So we all just mingled and had some snacks, and took some pictures. I enjoyed the day. We all got to relax and wind down.

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