Today we met the VC and students of Machakos Uni. We were given a tour of the campus and told about the green initiative they have to combat global warming.
The students were so friendly and kind. They were eager to know more about our lives in England and tell us about student life outside of university in Kenya! It was really interesting comparing how we live.
We then went to a local community where they told us about their culture and issues they faced. We were greeted with a traditional Kenyan welcome of singing and dancing, it was truly amazing.
Seeing how many people had come for this was insane, they shared with us traditional cooking appliances and told us more about their lives.
When speaking of issues, I think we all struggled. Again it’s so hard hearing how these people live. In this community, they were particularly struggling with crops due to drought and water due to sewage being dumped in their closest water source.
In some ways, we felt like they were asking us specifically to help. But I thought about it and I think that these people are more open to speak about issues they face (unlike in the UK) and want to share with us their experiences of life. In addition, translation will always pay a part – I don’t think they wanted our help specifically but they want to raise awareness of the challenges they face day to day.
Throughout the talks, a little girl was playing with me. She was so cute! Fascinated by my nails, hair and tattoos, she kept coming back and forth for hours upon hours. I loved being able to connect without even having to speak – moments like this really make me so grateful to be alive.
They finished with a dance and song. This was honestly so amazing to watch, I left beaming after being able to experience this!
Finally, we met with the local government and shared our thoughts on why community radio could benefit the area. We were very clear in that we do not know enough to tell them what will benefit the area as we have only experienced a few hours there – the only people who could give the true answer to this are those who live it every day.
This was the most amazing way to finish the trip, it brought all the knowledge we had learnt in the classroom and throughout the trip together in such a meaningful way. We all left feeling ecstatic, I feel like we really made a difference. I think out of everything, I’ve learnt so much about myself and I’ve got a new found thankfulness for what is my normal.
I could not have done this without such an amazing group of friends. This truly will change me not only academically but personally.