Well! What a turnaround today has been.
Today we held a workshop at Rongo University with a number of students. The customary meet and greet, presentations and speeches were made, punctuated with many coffee and tea breaks (which I add, made me a very happy person). Groups were made out of decisions made by the students – audio or video production. Five students; Mercy, Thomas, Khadija, Benedict and Jackson chose to work with Emily and I on audio. Before the training begun, I felt a hint of apprehension but, mostly enthusiasm and more at ease. We both felt more in control of what we were doing albeit, a moment or two when it came to making the chosen topic into a coherent rounded narrative through storyboarding. I can only improve with this. Peter would come over now and then to observe which, although helpful a lot of the time, at other times we – I speak for myself – would feel a little pressure and under scrutiny (sorry Peter!). I think because of our sense of control, and by no means in control of the students but of the situation, and increased confidence, made things run more smoothly and this work seemed more like fun and a better learning experience for everyone. We pretty much had a narrative and the objective nailed soon on, and were recording after only an hour or so spent on the mind mapping and the same for storyboarding. Admittedly our students were absolutely wonderful; engaging, excited and eager to express ideas on what they wanted to narrate. As an observation, in any dynamic you will find different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. We found an especially strong character; Khadija, who expressed passionately her ideas in the most articulate fashion. Whilst on a tea break, Khadija told me with conviction that all she wanted to do was learn and to change things in this world – and that she didn’t think that she knew enough. I told her that we are all still learning and that as long as she maintained her passion, belief and focus that she could indeed contribute to change. In contrast, we had Mercy who, I am certain has the same attributes, remained reserved and at times distant from the group. We tried on a number of times to include Mercy, in order to draw out her thoughts and to get her more involved – I hope she finds more trust in us and in the work tomorrow. The boys were all glued to the audacity editing – eyes on stalks whilst cutting, chopping and moving around content, which I found quite endearing.
At the end of the day, Jackson took both Emily and I on a tour around the campus. Jackson is studying Informatics and whilst not particularly keen on narrating stories, was great fun, polite and engaging. An exceptional sweet young man, I truly hope he goes far. This sentiment extends to all of our participants today
So, this is the end of my stay in Kenya as I am flying back to the UK before everybody else. I’ve left the workshop and this particular audio work half way through but am 110% confident that with the guidance from Emily (all on her own – which I think is amazing) will pull together a brilliant piece of work. I cannot wait to hear it