Day 13 – Tuesday 31st

Another jam packed day and our last day in Kenya today. We first met the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Machakos who also happened to be Jerry’s wife! She was really lovely and spoke to us and validated a lot of our experiences. She reminded us to leave and be grateful for the lives we lead back in England and to use them well. Next, we met the students and they were all really welcoming and pleasant to speak to. We all felt bad as we were all absolutely exhausted and our social batteries were quite drained but they were all lovely and showed us around campus. 

Soon after we hopped on a bus to a nearby village where we had the warmest welcome I have have ever experienced in my entire life. We were met by cheers, song, dancing and smiling faces. It was overwhelming to say the least and really moving. As special as it was, I couldn’t help but get the feeling I had when I first met the community back in Rongo. Why am I being celebrated when I haven’t done anything or brought anything with me? Amongst all the joy and discomfort, ultimately, we were being educated about the needs and struggles of the community. They needed water for their crops which weren’t doing well in the heat, as a result of the climate crisis. They were experiencing similar modern day slavery issues and they needed an outlet to discuss them and educate the wider community. They needed a community radio station. 

Later in the day we met with members of the county council where they asked us for our opinions and for ideas on what could be done to help the community. Myself and my fellow Brighton students felt this discussion was quite cathartic and we finally felt we were able to articulate how we had been feeling the whole time. We didn’t have answers. We only had been in the area for less than 24 hours but what we could do was make suggestions based on our experience back home, in Rongo and from what we had seen in Machakos. We got to let them know that us being here was to jump start the project, spread the word about it but the real work lay with the community and nothing would happen unless they wanted it and participated. The meeting ended and that was it. That was our last piece of work done and we had officially completed out CM4K trip. What a feeling. Off to bed now. Up at 1am to head to the airport. 

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