Breaking for the weekend….

Well as the first working week here in Migori County draws to a close it is time for the students and staff to let their hair down a bit and relax although for staff like Isabel even when relaxing she’s working hard whilst we’re here making sure everything is running as smoothly as possible – we are extremely grateful to her, our driver Bituk, the catering staff, Prof Jerry Agalo and all his staff who work to make this trip happen and make it special. They treat us so amazingly well!

Saturday 20th Jan.

Our first down day saw both university contingents head off to Rusinga Island. It is approximately a 2 hour drive away. In previous years getting from the mainland to the island in Lake Victoria has been an interesting navigational feat but the bridge has finally been completed and so everything went like clockwork.

We headed off the Rusinga Island Beach Resort, which is a lovely hotel/conference centre on the shore of Lake Victoria. Tropical trees; canoeing; boat trips. Etc. In fact, pretty much everything you could wish for to relax and enjoy yourself.

We have discussed previously holding an international workshop here – it’s not huge so a conference might be pushing it a bit but a workshop could definitely work. I’d been put off previously by transport logistics but now it is possible to fly direct from Nairobi as they have an airstrip next to the resort. So we are considering this possibility again.

For Prof Jerry and I this trip gave us a chance to discuss the progress of the CM4K and the challenges ahead in an idyllic setting. For the students they had a chance to spend more quality social time together developing bonds. The speed boat trip is always favourite among Brighton students but I always feel bad that the Kenyan students don’t get to experience it – so this year Jerry & I paid for them to take a ride also. Isabel’s daughter, Zerah, went in with our students as did Andres a graduate from Rongo with amazing tech knowledge who has worked with CM4K for the past 4 years and was one of the first students to visit us at Brighton. They all had a great time.

Unfortunately, the time at Rusinga was all too short and before we knew it it was time to head home. The journey home was rather upsetting for me as I received a call from my daughter Kate that my cat (Brody) had passed away. My granddaughter Kelsey, who lives with me, had been looking after her and of course was devastated as Brody used to sleep with her. My girls and son-in-laws Paul & Dom took care of the burial because I am here – which made it even worse because I am usually the one that deals with the passing of our pets. I was somewhat deflated on the journey back to Rongo and greatly saddened as Brody had been part of my family for 15 years and had endured several traumas in her life – bless her. Anyway RIP Brody.

Sunday 21st January

Sunday was pretty much a rest day. Students spent the morning trying on local clothes, shopping and washing. Later in the afternoon we went to the Treat House Hotel where Jerry, Isabel, Mac and I discussed a research proposal we’re working on. The boys stayed there working on their blogs and relaxing and were joined by the girls later as they’d been off looking at hair extension options. They ran out of time to get them done this week but I suspect next Sunday will be spent at the salon – well by them anyway. 😉

The days seem to fly by here and before we knew it we were back at campus having dinner before an early night. I was in bed by 9 and I couldn’t hear the students – most unusual 😉 – so am guessing they headed off early also. Just before I went to bed I noticed I had a room mate 😀.

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