Day 8: Visiting Schools in Chamgiwadu

We set off nice and early this morning, with the aim of a strict schedule to visit 3 schools starting at 10 and ending at 2, so we could have a late lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing. I have to say I was a little sceptical about this optimism, judging from the delays in previous days. We were already late by the time we arrived at the first one, but we got the cameras set up for the presentations. We had decided to split the 2 cameras between the Rongo students and us to try and get them more involved so they didn’t feel like we were too controlling. The aim of the day was a rehearsal of the performances for the exhibition tomorrow, so we watched various acts throughout the day, ranging from poems, plays and even stand up comedy.

The highlight was at the second school, where a group performed a ‘tragi-comedy’ about the dangers involved in teenage pregnancy and black market abortions. It was great to watch and see all the other kids reactions to it. I actually feel like I learnt a lot from this about the local views and laws, which shows how these alternative mediums can be great ways of highlighting issues.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the day went on much longer than 2 due to the travel times between schools and the length of performances. By the last school I was pretty exhausted from the hot Kenyan sun and having not eaten, but I enjoyed the interactions and the lovely scenery we saw along the way.

I think we are all struggling with the role we were playing here, with yesterday’s feelings of imposter syndrome and we were worried about the impact we were having on the young children. As we were leaving the last school, we were greeted by a large group of school children. A few of the young girls were saying that they weren’t beautiful compared to us. It’s hard to see these post-colonial identities imbedded at such a young age, already idolizing white skin and western beauty ideals. We all discussed these feelings of guilt we had at the end of the day, and I’m really glad we’ve established such a strong support network for each other as I don’t think I’d be able to do this without them. I feel so lucky to have such a great bunch of people on this trip with me!

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