Day 13 Final day in the field

I am pleased to report that during the course of this day, after much stressful ‘tooing and froing’ between myself and Finance and myself and my safari operator Rufus; Rufus and his bank and no doubt the Finance office and the trail of banks and financial institutions along the way…..a document appeared to say the money had been at the end bank since the 23rd. Rufus (safari operator) was able to take this to the bank – who miraculously ‘found’ the money. I was really happy but was left wondering why this document couldn’t have been produced last week? Still……time to forget this now. The matter is finally solved, I am grateful to the staff member in Finance for his prompt replies to my many emails and for his efforts. The students will have their richly deserved R&R on the Massai Mara.

After a more relaxed weekend it was time to get back to work with our last trip to the community. Today the plan was for us to visit Kanyimach Primary and Secondary Schools; the local 7th Day Adventist Church and the shopping centre at Kogenya. The first 3 were all in fairly close proximity and as the routine had by now been honed (with everyone knowing their jobs) everything ran smoothly.

The schools and church are linked by more than proximity. The primary school opened for business in 1926 as a project of the church (founded in 1922) and includes national radio broadcasters and politicians among its former pupils. The thought of a community owned community radio station in the locality was very much an attractive proposition for them and both the Head and Deputy Head spoke enthusiastically about building a relationship between the radio station and the curriculum/school activities.

The secondary school, another church project, is a recent addition and as can be seen from the photos is still under construction. Until its doors opened in 2016 the nearest school was 1.5Km away over very hilly terrain. The locals wanted to build their own school and turned to the church for help. Playing a central role in the community the church is used by secondary school pupils whilst the slow pace of construction takes place. It’s really fascinating to see the central role faith organisations, especially the 7th Day Adventists, play in local life in this area in what is a deeply religious country. Local people giving what little they have by some form of tithe system as an act of their faith. Cleary faith based organisations will play a big part in the activities of this community radio station.

We arrived back on campus around 3 for a late lunch. This was followed by an editing session in which a very tired community media crew continued to work on reviewing and editing the content. I can see that it is all coming together but we are highly unlikely to get it all done before we leave. However, the important processes of sensitisation, awareness and community engagement have been facilitated in no uncertain terms. The word is most definitely out and we are increasingly and waved at and greeted cheerily now by local adults (as well as the kids) when they see the old blue Rongo bus bouncing down the roads. Whilst the students worked on their content I located the final few locations through the process I described a few posts ago and felt some satisfaction that every location now had an accurate waypoint.

A late dinner followed and to be perfectly frank I was relieved to get back to my room and fell into bed by 8.30. Of course, I was awake by 12.30 (this seems to be my sleeping pattern here – 4 hours sleep followed by 4 hours dozing on and off). By 2.00 I was up and working until 4am when I went back to bed for a couple of hours light sleep. It had been an exhausting day but I was satisfied with it and mightily relieved that the payment transaction saga was finally over.

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