Update from Rongo University College where it is very hot!

Well it’s been a while since my last blog when we were just leaving Nairobi and so much has happened that you are best advised to read the student blogs as they filter through to capture their interpretations of our activities. Internet connectivity is a little hit and miss here and we have been so busy that post blogs is as and when but they are all writing them up…..so they will filter through……eventually.

After leaving Nairobi….we had a 5 hour drive to Kingsway School in Londianni. In the past we’ve taken books collected from kind donators. This time the purpose was to shoot a short film that outlines their need for electricity. This is to form part of a fund raising campaign that will start soon. The pupils and staff at the school were, as always, glad to see us and welcomed us as long lost friends…..the children even remembered the 1,2, 3 Chelsea game we played when taking photos of each class last year and so I happily obliged with a repeat of the game.

After 3 hours that sped by it was time for another 5 hour journey on to Rongo. A large chunk of this was on road under construction…..very bumpy… we eventually arrived at our destination in Rongo and everyone was in bed shortly afterwards…..exhausted but contented with a lovely day in the Londianni sun.

The next morning we awoke to no shower water, which was a shock as we were all rather dirty from the previous day. Some water eventually got through and some had showers of sorts….I splashed around in a few drops of cold water and headed off to meet the Principal, the Deans and staff – this took all morning – before the workshops were to start. Our 10 students working with 20 of theirs. They got into 4 groups – 2 video; 1 audio & 1 photography. Angela in the audio group was leaving us on the second day – which meant Emily was working with her group alone – she did a sterling job. I had hoped to join her and as much as I did help her solve a few major technical problems – as is always the way I was spread across all the groups and other firefighting activities.

Day 2 in Rongo saw quite a few network and technical problems when the students and staff returned from the goldmine village field-trip….for quite some time I was convinced we would not get things finished but despite the major problems they all found workarounds and suddenly the content all started to come together. These guys have been amazing….10 of them and believe me it is draining at times….but they mix playfulness and fun with a professional approach which engages all participants and achieves significant results….these will be posted when we get back to Nairobi because the internet connect is very poor and I can’t solve that……yet ;-).

Day 3 (today) saw us delayed again by water issues and a meeting with the County Governor, scheduled for 10 am seemed doomed. This was reinforced when we arrived at the County Hall at 12 only to find the Governor detained in Nairobi and a bemused staff. Eventually, the Deputy-Governor threw the cabinet out of the room and hosted us……this was polite and he swore that a partnership between University of Brighton & Rongo was a partnership with Migori County…..a little dramatic flourish I thought but very comforting for future collaborations as they seemed genuinely interested to see us all 30 mixed Uni students and all the staff together working on the community media capacity building. At a later date I will write in more detail here about this partnership but with dusk beckoning and mosquitos massing….it is time for spray and dinner. Suffice to say for now that the scope I thought might exist in this partnership has been reinforced by this trip.

That’s enough for now….tomorrow we will be leaving to run some scenarion-based needs assessment workshops which will provide filmic data for our hosts. I doubt I’ll be able to blog again until Sunday….so for now auf wiedersehen and know that the students are doing a great job and whether you’re from UoB or a parent/loved one…..know they are doing us/you proud.


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