We booked the taxi to take us from my flat to Brighton coach station at 1am on Monday 19th January. All of us very excited to get going and start something amazing. I kind of felt sorry for the taxi driver as he had to deal with the constant outbursts of excitement. Once we arrived we met the others and jumped on the coach to London Heathrow Terminal 2. This is where we met the rest of our team and boarded the plane to Zurich, Switzerland. Although, I instantly fell in love with Switzerland, it was only a brief stop as 50 minutes later, we boarded the plane to Nairobi, Kenya. The journey felt like it took forever, but that didn’t kill any of our excitement. As soon as we got off of the plane, it felt like you had just been hit by a wave of pure heat. The difference in temperature between Switzerland and Kenya was enormous but I absolutely loved it. Wearing flip flops in the middle of January is not a usual thing for me. We were then picked up by Rufus, and taken to our accommodation. This was an apartment with four rooms (including the living room), so with 14 of us, we were a little cramped. Four of us boys, Alex, Charlie, Mike and myself claimed one room and coined the name “Casa Del Lad.” Once we were all settled, we headed down to the bar next door, “Taidys”, where we were welcomed with open arms. Philip, the assistant manager, gave us a tour and gave us helpful advice about staying in Kenya. We then ordered a few Heinekens, nicknamed “Heineys” and toasted the start of our two week adventure in Africa.
The second day was a rest day, to recover from all the travelling. We spend the day getting to know the area. A brief walk around next door’s mall, T-Mall, and a visit to Taidy’s, it was then time to meet with Willice to finalise the details of the next day’s visit to Kenyatta University. Willice then ran through who his preliminary running order for the following day.
He explained that the day would begin with speeches from various members of staff at Kenyatta University as well as Peter and Charlie from our group and that is what happened. We woke at 06.30am and travelled to Kenyatta University. Once the speeches were delivered, we took a short break to network with the Kenyan students and have a cup of coffee.
After the break, we were introduced to our group. Mike, Amy and myself sat them down and asked them what they would want to hear from a community radio or podcast. It was at this moment I assessed how much the Kenyan students knew about community radio and how passionate they were about certain issues in Nairobi. Issues such as the gap between the rich and the poor, environmental issues and maintaining Kenyan identity as well as celebrating cultural diversity.
We then moved on to a more practical aspect of community radio and introduced the ZOOM microphones. The students were instantly fascinated by them and wanted to get going so we split into three groups and started introducing the basic functions. I then set them the task of getting the perfect level in a recording, of which, they did. We asked the students to then recorded the letters “A, B, C, D, E” in a random order. Once I felt they were capable of recording a good quality sound clip, we took the files and loaded them on to the music software, Audacity. We then showed the students how to cut, paste, and edit the sound to get the best possible results. The task we set them asked the students to re-order the letters so it spelled the first five letters of the alphabet. After a few attempts, they succeeded and noted that they were excited to use the software again.
Finally, we sat around in a circle again and noted all the topics and how we could relate them to the proposed community media centre in Ngong. We also asked the students to download Audacity and to write some interview questions in preparation for the next day.