25th January. Cham gi Wadu Day 2

I’m writing this blog pos as I go along today because unexpectedly, we’ve had a good chunk of free time today which was not the plan. We were to promptly leave at 9am this morning but it turns out the sugar cane from the weekend is sneaking back up on a few of us and most have been hit with a dodgy tummy. Luckily I only had one piece and I’m not feeling any aftermath. Supposedly it’s well known that sugar cane can carry a few nasties inside it, but sure this is all part of the experience lol (I think I’m only in a position to say that because I don’t feel unwell).

The second hurdle was that of the bus. We were to meet the Chief and the community at 10am but this didn’t happen because the driver went off the fill the bus up with fuel, and disappeared for 2 hours whilst being completely uncontactable. Some of the villagers had started to leave the centre where we would be meeting them and I don’t blame them. It’s 12:10pm and we’ve only just set off. They’ve given up their time, some have left their work to come and meet us. I’m quite disappointed as is everyone else from our team and the University of Rongo team but we got there in the end.

We started to set up and we shared our lunch with some local villagers.

It was great to hear from them and why they want the community radio station and how it will help the sustainability of their businesses, farms and political issues. Everything we learned through our lectures as to why community Radio is important was raised by the people of Cham gi Wadu. I even noticed one person who seemed to be interested in journalism and I would hope they would get involved in some presenting, producing or research at some point.

The chief arrived some time after this and spoke to us and told us how he was happy to give the village a space for the studio. It was brief but an honour that he came to speak with everyone. As the day progressed, poor Katy got sicker and sicker and so we needed to cut some things short so we could get her home to rest in bed. There’s absolutely nothing worse than feeling ill and being far from your bed. We had a quick stop off to a school and a spring where we got such a warm welcome. I’m told they love to have visitors and they were so gracious. It was a lovely stop off. They kids were excited to shake our hands and the village people greeted us, shook our hands and gave us hugs. It was really lovely to feel so welcome into their small community. I was asked to stand and speak a little about the fundraising we did before our trip. It was such a lovely stop of, it’s a shame we couldn’t stay longer and visit their fresh water spring, but again, these things happen.

Today seemed a bit chaotic to me, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I’m learning to really go with the flow and release and form of control on this trip. It’s been testing for me as I’m usually someone who likes to know what I’m doing and when but it’s made me realise that we can only do our best, there will be a solution and to really slow down. There’s no need to rush through life. Although I do wish today was a little better organised, even though I know it was out of our ands and the hands of our professors.

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