Fieldwork Reflection, So Far!

Though I uploaded this onto my personal academic blog, I thought I’d upload it on here too! I spent some time writing a reflection on how the fieldwork has gone so far and some of the problems we’ve encountered, so without further ado, here it is! I apologise though, it is rather long… Haha.

On Monday (22.01.18), we had our first official day of official fieldwork. We started the morning in class assigning ourselves into groups, there were three, photography, audio and video. Assumingly, we all thought we knew and were confident in our assigned roles, however when we arrived at our first location, it was apparent that in all the groups, we faced similar, if not the same challenges.

The first most apparent issue was communication between each other. Originally when assigning groups, we summarised what each member must do – though, shortly afterwards in the field it became clear that we did not spend enough time clarifying the tasks at hand. In our group, there were two camera people, we made what we presumed to be a conscious effort to tell all group members that the only photographs we needed were of the buildings themselves to put onto the map, and possibly some portrait photos of staff and community members to add additional depth and personalisation to our content. Katie, doing her dissertation was to photograph the activities throughout the day as documentation for both ourselves and her benefit, though one of our group members ended up following Katie’s lead and taking unnecessary photographs of the happenings, even though Katie’s role was one separate from our group. Whilst the content itself was great, it wasn’t beneficial for us and therefore delayed our process as the other camera person had double the workload. In addition, as that was Katie’s role, we ended up with a lot of duplicate content that was unusable and unnecessary of our aim.

Our second issue ties into the first, and that was uncertainty of our roles, and doubt whether we were gathering the right content. At times, we lost track of group members and we weren’t updating one another on our progression, in a sense, some of us were working as a group, and others were working as individuals. Even though this was apparent, we didn’t rectify the issue immediately which is what should have happened – because failure of the task doesn’t just affect us as a group, but the entire CM4K Asset Mapping process.  We do not have the time to return to locations and gather additional content, we must ensure it is completed during our first, and only visits to avoid jeopardising quality.

Finally, the third problem we faced was time management. Once again, each challenge we faced tie into one another and could have an undesirable domino effect on the project if not resolved promptly. Originally it had been planned that the time spent at each location would be 10, to 20 minutes – however we spent around an hour at each which resulted in missing lunch, and spending more time outside in the sunshine which has negative implications on everyone involved. The additional time spent at each location was because of our lack of communication and uncertainty, which meant we weren’t gathering content at a sufficient rate. There were some unforeseen opportunities that arose which also delayed our day, but equally these were beneficial to cease whilst we had the opportunity. Although the opportunities were phenomenal, we have since agreed collectively that if it is to happen again, we must politely decline as it strays from our aim, and can negatively affect the project objective. We must ensure we best keep to our time management plan, and if opportunities do arrive, that we rearrange another occasion where we can commit more time and resources into the events – this promotes equality to everyone as we can only truly dedicate ourselves to one objective at a time to achieve maximum impact.

In addition, I too was personally effected by these challenges as I did not have an official role throughout the day, instead I had intended to help those in my group who needed additional aid. I spent time floating between person to person, however I feel as if I did not contribute anything positive on our first day because I just didn’t know what I was doing. Additionally, at times it felt I was simply in the way, and hindering my groupmates tasks – I was fearful I’d be perceived as uncommitted, though it was simply because I wasn’t sure what exactly needed to be done and did not want to create duplicate content. This could have been resolved if I had spoken to my group members, if not on location it could have been on the coach as we had time between each destination where we could have designated roles and added clarity to the project, though as no one did, neither did I. I should have taken initiative, but I cannot dwell on the past as that cannot be changed, instead I should use these challenges as fuel to guarantee the same problems do not arise for me, or anyone else.

Each point reflects our partnership, and despite the negatives everyone is incredibly hardworking individuals – so these problems should not have arisen if we had only taken an additional moment to ensure everyone was on the same page and knew what they were doing. I do not think that it is anyone’s fault, this could happen in any situation – it was our first day, and often even when you’re confident that you know what you’re doing, problems will always arise. We were all learning the structure, and in ways it has been beneficial to us that this happened early during the process. Despite not instantly correcting our problems, on that same evening we did speak to our lecturer Peter and soon discovered that all the groups had the same problems. This feedback session lead to us concluding a resolution of how we could remedy the challenges we had, to ensure that the same process did not happen again. The next morning, we agreed that after Peter had spoken to us collectively as a class, we’d break into our groups and have a discussion to clarify and address our issues together, and make a solid action plan for the day to ensure we combated our previous problems. After the discussion, we broke into our groups and clarified the tasks at hand. The meeting helped tremendously, and every group had an incredible turn around. We all worked together, and rather than the hour we spent at each location the previous day, we were finished and out in around 20 minutes at every site. We had a clear direction, and gathered so much valuable content. We even arrived back at the University at our originally planned time, and then had time in the afternoon to edit – which is something we had planned for the previous day, though unfortunately could not do.

The third day of fieldwork on Thursday (25.01.2018) once again, went smoothly. Unfortunately, we did forget to get a longitude and latitude of the second location, though Peter is confident he knows where it is roughly on the map, so it shouldn’t cause any problems. I am so proud that we all came together and really proved how hard each one of us could work. It gives me such hope that the rest of the project will go just as smoothly as our second and third day did, if not even better! I feel our bonds are now stronger, and that we are a community within ourselves. With each day and each challenge, our partnership strengthens and each learning experience gives us valuable insight on how to best move forwards. I look forward to continuing to see our progression.

Luca. 🙂

Day 10

I went to bed too early last night about 9:30pm which meant that I woke up at 4am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’ve slept really well since being here I’ve found the bed comfortable and the pillows and blankets soft. I know other people have struggled, all our rooms are very different. St Clare was a good choice even if I did choose it because it’s my mums name haha. Last night I just couldn’t get comfortable after waking up. My body is feeling very physically drained and my brain is sluggish and tired I’ve been trying to stimulate it by listening to some of the old music I found on my iPod but I think its just one of those days where I’m going to be a bit low. Its been raining today; big heavy droplets, nothing like the storms I saw in Ghana but still exciting to see. I say that like we don’t have rain in England but it so different here, mainly because I don’t mind it as the weathers still warm and it cools my skin down.

Breakfast was eggs again! I had a bowl of Weetabix too (I must remember to buy some when I get back to Brighton) partnered with my hot chocolate sachet of dhioralyte and malarone tablet. I went to put my sunnys on but realised they had snapped in half (not a great start). If I’m honest I’m feeling quite antisocial today I just want to be by myself so I’ve kept my headphones in most of today when we’ve not been doing fieldwork. Its interesting to take a step back and just watch how everyone interacts with one another. The two university groups have noticeably become more connected with one another and we’ve formed one big group instead. I also finished my book, I just couldn’t help myself! so I need to find another book that I can steal off someone to read.

I did my usual work of documenting the process and the other guys in action throughout the day. First place we went to was the Osaha Seventh Day Adventist Church. We interviewed the elders, in particular the third elder Pamela. She told us that the church had 70 members who were from all 6 neighbouring communities Hollo A, Hollo B, Central, Mlimani, Town A and Wang Cheng. The church itself was established in 1982 and runs a popular Saturday Service and Health Programme.

Secondly, we went to Lango Arek Mixed Secondary School. We were greeted by Onyore Caivince the Biology and Chemistry teacher. He told us they had 120 students but were expecting more as the school was only founded in 2009 so its still relatively new. They have 10 teachers, 3 of which are government employees he also told us the headmaster was called Vincent Okinyl.

The last place we visited was Cham gi Wadu Market. It was a lot busier than it had been when we went the first time they sell most things that a market sells including fish, fresh fruit and clothes and fabrics. They also have a cattle market so the place was very busy and noisy. Members of the community approached me and asked me to take their photographs. I was by myself at this point so decided it would be a good opportunity to get more involved in the action. The butcher was excited to have his picture taken in his shop. He called all his friends over and soon I was taking candid shot of them all outside there hangout, a shoe shop. Just as I was showing the butcher the image on the screen of the picture I had just taken I was stung by an African Bee.

I like to think I have a good pain threshold as I have lots of piercings and tattoos but this was up there on the pain scale with them. The sting itself was like being jabbed with a needle and the pain afterwards was a slow throbbing like a heartbeat in the top of my arm. Funnily it stung me just where you would get an injection. I tried to pick the bee off carefully so that I didn’t kill it but his stinger was firmly wedged in my arm and his little guts fell out as I pulled it off. I felt bad that I knew it would die but I couldn’t help it. Peter pulled the sting out of my arm for me and Mercy checked it on the bus to make sure none of it had broken off in my arm.

I know I’m almost 22 but I think I deserve one of those well-done stickers you get from the dentist when your little for being brave!

P(oo).S Everything is still okay down there I’m starting to get worried that I’m pushing my luck and my time is sure to come soon.

25.01.2018 – Luca

Today we woke up at our usual time and hopped on the bus to the University, I think we’ve all perfected our little morning routine now, up and out at 8:45am, though not always on the dot… Haha. As always, breakfast was amazing. I think breakfast has easily become my most favourite meal of the day, though I am not sure I will keep it up back in England as I’m certainly not as good of a chef! After breakfast, we joined the rest of our CM4K partners in class, and soon set off for our third day of fieldwork. Like the second, all went smoothly. We visited three places today, which I have listed below:

Osatia Seventh Day Adventist Church: Osatia S.D.A Church was founded in 1982, and holds a service every Saturday. There are currently 70 members of the Church, and 6 neighbouring communities attend service: Hollo A, Hollo B, Central, Mlimani, Town A, and Wang Chieng.

Unlike before where we’d driven exactly to the location, we walked some of the way to the church today. Just outside of the church entrance there was an avocado tree, I so badly wanted to climb it and pick some fresh, ripe avocados. They looked delicious, but I resisted, haha. After we gathered our content, we headed back to the bus to travel to our second location.

Lang’o Arek Mixed Secondary School: Lang’o Arek Mixed Secondary School project was founded in 2008. The school currently hosts 120 students, and 10 teachers, 3 of those being government employees.

Once again like the previous location, again we had to walk part way – although this walk wasn’t as relaxing as the first! It was up a ginormous hill! I am quite used to hills, as Brighton is probably one of the hilliest places I’ve ever lived, but I’ve had a few weeks off from walking up hills so my legs were unprepared. However, when we reached the top there was the most beautiful view of landscapes stretching to the sky! We all took a moment to catch our break, and admire the view. 😊

DSC_0101

Cham gi Wadu Market: The Cham gi Wadu Open Market takes place every week at the Cham gi Wadu Shopping Centre. Traders of different communities come together to share their wares, selling items such as: fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, fabrics, clothes, shoes, animals (cattle, poultry) and various amenities. The market attracts both Luo and Kisi communities, as in the Luo’s language, ‘Cham gi Wadu’ means ‘share with your neighbour’.

We had to return to the shopping centre as the shots we originally took on Monday looked too derelict. We thought that on market day, it’d be busier and represent the community better, so we returned to retake the photo on market day. It was also a great experience to see the market first hand, though unfortunately it started to rain so we had to speed back to the bus.

DSC_0131

Once we arrived back at the university, we started to edit our content. If I am being truthful, I am worried that we do not have enough editing time. I am not so worried about myself and the photography group, but video and audio are incredibly time consuming – and though we have editing time when we arrive back from the locations, everyone is feeling very tired and it can be difficult to focus. I shall bring this up with Peter when I get the chance, and see what he suggests. I do not want quality to be compromised, but with the time constraints I’m worried it might be. For now though, we’re off for some dinner! I hope everyone has a wonderful evening, talk soon!

Luca. 😊

A trek and a half…

Today we did a little bit of walking to reach the destinations of our locations. I was so thankful for them as we are usually going on the bus to the locations, get off and back on once all you’ve done is and onto your next destination. I t was nice walking through the paths and seeing the goats and cows and I was thankful to just explore.

We visited Lang’o Are Mixed Secondary School. Reaching this school was a task as we had to climb up a steep hill but thank god I had trainers on I raced up that hill. I quickly regretted it as I had to wait for about 10 mins to catch my breath when I reached the top of the hill. I don’t know how the students do it every day but it certainly made me miss the bus dropping us right at our location. The school is on top of a hill so capturing a lot of establishing shot was beautiful, however I like to avoid taking panoramic shot of just trees and scenery as it makes it boring when you put it together in a final video. The school didn’t have much there so I improvised and focussed on the students getting their lunch and their day to day lunch duties. It was amazing.

We also visited Osatia church which was in the middle of nowhere it seemed. The church on the inside had a lot to capture however, for a church it had very little and I fully appreciated the job we are doing for this community as it urged me to want more for their church and the community members were ever so proud of their church and it was nice talking to them and knowing how much our radio station will benefit them.

Day 9

We bought some drinks from treat house again last night as we knew we didn’t have fieldwork today so we could stay up a bit later than usual. We all joined together on the veranda to chat and wind down, Sam brought out a book his dad had bought for him called The White Masai (Corrine Hoffman). I don’t think his dad realised that its written a bit like an erotic novel. We amused ourselves for a good half a hour reading passages from the book and joking about if we would have the some experience when we visit the Masai Mara, even Pete joined in saying he was secretly the character Marco. After a few more drinks we decided to bring over some of our British culture to Rongo and do a Pub Quiz. I used the questions again from the one that I did to raise money for CM4K back in October. at some point during this someone mentioned that it would be a good idea to crack open the Kenyan Cane again. About 11:30pm and a dozen or so drinks later we all stumbled off to our rooms to finally hit the sack.

Everyone looked a bit worse for wear today. I felt quite bad as I was quite perky and had a good night’s sleep. Angel and Hafsah had both been ill in the night and Sam Luca and Peter all had stomach cramps. Everyone seems to think that it was a combination of the lunch from yesterday mixed with the alcohol from last night however I still stand by the fact that it’s the meat (trying to convert everyone to vegetarianism) I’m the only one not poorly and the only one who doesn’t eat meat.

Hafsa was too poorly to come to uni so we left her behind at the Pastoral Centre. Breakfast was scrambled egg! I was so happy as it was absolutely delicious! We then went up to the classroom to get on with our individual work. It was an intense day of writing and researching for myself but they had tea, coffee and hot chocolate to keep us going. After lunch I met with peter to discuss what I needed to do with the rest of my time on the project and what would be useful for my dissertation. I have already started collecting emails of people that will be important to contact for opinions and quotes.

Luca went home at lunch, were all dropping like flies! After lunch was much of the same work wise. We had an early dinner at 5 most people barely touched their food and then we returned to the pastoral centre (with small plates for Luca and Hafsa). It was only 6pm by the time we got back but everyone retired to their rooms straight away. I read a good chunk of Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes) I only have about 30 pages left but I want to delay finish reading it for as long as possible but its such a good book! I then started watching Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) I think I got about an hour into it and then fell asleep. I’ve watched a few different films since being here including Moana (2016), Ratatouille (2007) and Dr Strange (2016).

Out and About in the Community 3

Last night I had a much better sleep, except for the fact that I woke up with 7 mosquito bites on my index and middle fingers on my left hand – they have not stopped itching, it’s so irritating! At least everything else is back to normal I guess. We were picked up at our usual time of 8:45am and when we arrived at the university, the cooks had outdone themselves again! Eggy bread for two days in a row – what a luxury! Unfortunately, the Tommy K had run out and we forgot to bring our own one, but it was still delicious!

Today was another day where we had to do fieldwork and, in all honesty, I was not up for it. Although no longer poorly, I was still feeling extremely drained from yesterday’s illness. However, I knew that this work needed to be done as we are doing good for the community, so I jumped on the bus and off we went. We arrived at the Cham Gi Wadu shopping centre as there was to be a market in the adjacent field. I think the original plan was to capture footage and photos for the asset maps here first, however the market wasn’t quite up and running so we decided to move on.

Our first proper location that we filmed was the Osatia S.D.A church. The road leading up to the church was narrow and bumpy, so we had to abandon Biatuk and the bus and walk the rest of the way. It was about 1km, so not too far. The bus normally pulls up outside the locations, so it was nice to walk somewhere for a change, stretch my legs and experience the peace and tranquillity of the Kenyan countryside. It was not too long before we arrived, and the church was unlocked for us to see inside. It was cool inside, and also very dark as the windows did not seem to let much light in. There were rows of wooden pews, much like those we would see in England. Everyone stepped in to the church building so that Angel, May and Kassim could take an establishing shot of the front without us being in there. Isabelle then told us that the church elders were keen for us to interview them. Our original plan was to set up and conduct the interview inside, but it was far too gloomy which would have produced very noisy footage. So, we took it outside, they did not speak much English so Mac done the majority of translating for us. I think that it will be good to have both the Lua and Swahili languages in the documentary as highlights how rural this area actually is. The problem for me is that I don’t speak either so when it comes to editing I won’t know what is being said. The other people in my group will be able to translate the Swahili for me, so I’ll just have to find someone that can speak Lua – if Wendy is free I’ll probably ask her.

Our second visit was Lang’O Arek Mixed Secondary School. Once again, the bus had to drop us off on the road and we had to walk up to the school. When I say up, I really mean UP as it was situated at the top of a tall, steep hill! I made my way up it, there were a few moans from the others and when we reached the top a few people had to have a little lay down to catch their breath and recover. The view was a sight to behold, I could see for miles in every direction that I looked – even the curvature of the Earth was visible! I was so amazed by it that I almost forgot that we were at a school. I was brought back down to Earth by the children coming out to collect their lunch. We all then went to a classroom at the back of the school where we interviewed one of the teachers, Calvine – I’m not 100% sure of the spelling, sorry! He spoke passionately about how the Community Radio Station in Cham Gi Wadu would benefit both the students and the school – and even asked if there was a chance he could get a job there! The interview was longer than most that we have done so far, but when it finished we bode farewell and made our way back down the hill. I thought walking up the hill was difficult, but it turns out going back down was even more so! There was no distinguished path so many stones came loose underfoot, making it very slippery as we tried to walk down.

Eventually (and without any falls) we made it back to the bus, and drove back towards the market. There was one blip however, as there was a large ditch in the middle of the road, and the bus was too heavy with all of us on it to go over. So, we all jumped off and Biatuk navigated his way over it – what a great man he is! We all climbed back on and were soon at Cham Gi Wadu market. There was such an array of goods, from fish to vegetables to majestic cloths and fabrics, all laying out on plastic tarpaulin sheets. We got many shots of all of the stalls, but unfortunately our time there was cut short as there was a storm heading our way and everyone quickly packed up and headed off to find some shelter. I made my way back to the bus, as I was wearing a white t-shirt which was rapidly turning orange with all of the dust that the wind was picking up. It meant that I unfortunately missed a number of impromptu interviews that Aron conducted with a few of the locals – I’ve watched them back now and they are awesome! After about 20 minutes everyone piled back on to the bus. Katie was stung by a bee in the process, but shook it off like it was nothing! Maybe I need to stop whining about my fingers…

Anyway, we drove back to the university where we would spend the rest of the afternoon looking over our footage and editing. The problem was, nobody had editing software on their laptops! By the time Andres had kindly transferred Adobe Premiere Pro on to Mercie’s laptop, it was time for dinner. I did not however, let this time go to waste as I knew that it would come back and bite me in the future. Instead, we wrote up a plan for the documentary so that we knew what we wanted it to look like, and created a schedule so we knew what we had to do on each day to complete it. I’ll post the document on either the online conversation board or my personal blog – hopefully we will be able to stick to it and everything will run smoothly!

Anyway, I’m off to bed now. Peter has just told us that the plan for tomorrow has changed and we are no longer going out in to the community, but instead using the whole day for editing as he feels that we won’t have enough time to get everything completed. I agree that we need this extra day, but it doesn’t hide my disappointment for not returning to the Kopala Spring Water Project as it was such a great initiative, the members were so friendly and it was in such a beautiful location.

 

Goodnight!

 

Sam 🙂

24.01.2018 – Luca

Hello, hello, hello!

Today’s post may be a bit brief, but hopefully it’ll give you chance to rest your poor eyes from all of my ramblings! Equally, this is only the beginning so that presumption could change, we’ll see. 😛

I think I’ll start with the evening of the 23rd, the night after our second day of field work. To reward ourselves from all our hard work, we collectively agreed we’d have a nice relaxing evening celebrating our two days of fieldwork. I really had so much fun! We picked up some drinks on the way back from University after dinner from our favourite spot, The Treat House, and then returned to the accommodation. This was the first night we’d arrived back before 7pm, so it was nice to have additional time to kick our feet up. Whilst we had our drinks, we played Katie’s CM4K pub quiz. It was so fun, I had also predicted the order of winners would be our seating positions, and I was funnily right, haha! I am truly awful at quizzes, but got 21 out of 50 odd questions right (probably more, but I’ll say less to make myself feel better, haha). The winner, Angel, got 30, so I did far better than I’d expected and she had played before. Sam followed with 29, and Hafsah with 14. Originally when counting the points, Hafsah thought she only had 13, with 12 points from the Logo Round, and the other point from a question where the answer was Nairobi – which really cracked us! We laughed so hard Peter heard us from his room and through his earplugs. Nairobi is where our plane landed in Kenya, so we’d have been shocked if anyone got that question wrong! After that, we played some silly games and then all went to bed.

The plan for the following day was to spend it at the University editing the content we’d gathered from our two days of fieldwork. I had done the majority of mine the previous day, so I spent the majority of my time helping organise content into folders for one of my classmates who was unfortunately feeling poorly (get well soon, H). I also spent some time catching up on the discussion board and responding to posts, it felt good to be up to date. Just before lunch at around 2, I ended up coming back to the accommodation as I was feeling a bit poorly myself, I am very British and have sunburn, so I think I just needed some additional rest time. I got back and did some washing before then sleeping for around 4 hours. A bug got into my room though and scared the absolute life out of me (yes, I screamed, haha). I wouldn’t mind, but the type of insect it is has been haunting our group our entire trip here! I think it got into my room for revenge, and it worked. I’m currently hiding in my bed under my net, still alert for its return… Whatever species it is, I hope we can be civil and it’ll leave me alone now, please. 😛

Oh, and how could I forget to mention that before all of this once again we had an amazing breakfast! I had eggy bread and sausages, yum! We’d been fantasising on the bus the entire way to University about fry ups, and we were all so excited to have eggy bread! I think Pete was amused that we called it that, as he knew it as something different. Isn’t it funny how language changes between generations? It never fails to amuse me. 😛

Though I spent a lot of time resting, I did get all of the work I had planned to do done, and then some. In addition to my two blog posts about the fieldwork (the first 624 words, and the second 588) I wrote an additional 1,254-word critical reflection of how both days had gone! For anyone who knows me, you’ll know I am a very slow typer and that it takes me a while to write things out, so I’m proud that I had so much to say and got it done in just a short few hours. Goodness knows what I’ll put in my assignment for this module if I keep writing at this pace! After writing, my classmates were kind enough to bring me some fruit on their return which I ate for dinner as I am still feeling a bit poorly, and now I am writing this! However, it is getting on so I’m probably going to dim the lights and try to rest some more with a film I’ve been meaning to watch for ages called, My Week With Marylin. Here’s hoping it’s a good one! Have a great night, and as I silently expected… This blog post hasn’t been brief at all, whoops! Goodnight everyone!

Luca. 😊

Day 8

Fieldwork Day 2:

Today I had some bad news. No Weetabix.

After a disappointing start to the day I had little hope that the rest of the day would be any better. I was proved so wrong.

After breakfast we grouped in the classroom and Peter addressed the issues that we had highlighted last night. We started by having meetings in our individual groups so that the Brighton students could make sure that the Rongo students knew how to operate the equipment properly. It also gave us an opportunity to delegate positions within the groups so that everyone was clear on what their role was and most importantly felt valued within the CM4K project.

Super Market in Cham gi Wadu:

Beginning (Entering from Rongo University):

  • Long – 34, 36, 8
  • Lat – 0, -53, -38

End (Leaving towards Ongo Health Centre):

  • Long – 34, 36, 13
  • Lat – 0, -53, -39

The shopping centre is used for the community they sell goods like food including fish and have retail shops such as a salon and barbers. There is a hotel and safe places for people to stay. It’s an open market its very busy on weekends. Its used to trade between the communities.

Ongo Health Centre:

  • Long – 34, 36, 30
  • Lat – 0, -54, -36

We spoke to Lewis Evens Messe who is a manager at the health centre. They treat roughly 200 patients and have 3-4 in patients. They have antiviral treatment for HIV. The buildings are split into two wards maternity and In-patients. The building opened in 1985 as a dispensary and in 1996 (the year I was born) became a health centre. The telephone number of the centre is 0729303274.

Ongo Primary School:

  • Long – 34, 36, 28
  • Lat – 0, -54, -36

We were introduced to the deputy Kennedy Ochieng. He didn’t seem to know a lot about the school he worked at but what we could gather was that the school was opened in the 1980’s, it had roughly 360 students and 8 members of staff. They specialised in mainly academics.

Ongo 7th day Adventist Church:

  • Long – 34, 36, 29
  • Lat – 0, -54, -38

The church was closed but what the locals could tell us was that it was open for a Saturday service every day.

Kitere Primary School:

  • Long – 34, 36, 20
  • Lat – 0, -49, -29

The deputy head George Andhamo and senior teacher Madame Rosemary greeted us upon arrival. The chief was also there having a meeting with the community. We were introduced and welcomed and the left to go about the asset mapping work we were meant to do. We found out that there were approximately 650 students and 18 teachers, 5 males and the rest female. They pride themselves on the fact that they are ever expanding and always ready to accept new students.

We got back to the university at 3pm a much more reasonable time than yesterday. Everyone worked so efficiently and I’m so proud of the hard work that everyone put into today. It made everything run so smoothly.

The Big Edit Day & Poorly People

So, last night we got some beers! I bought Biatuk a bottle of Pilsner as well – turns out Luca got him 2, I feel quite bad about it now! Anyway, we got back to the Pastoral Centre we went through our usual routine of showering and getting into some comfy clothes. Usually I’m the first person out, so I decided to kick back and relax on my bed and read for a few minutes first. I carried on reading a few pages of The Social Contract but it’s so complicated! I decided to give up on that and begin reading The White Masai (Corrine Hoffman) and it’s turned out to be an instant favourite within the camp – everyone loves hearing about Corrine’s crazy life on holiday in Kenya! We all sat around in the veranda and Katie read out a few pages to us as we all cracked open our beers and ciders – Peter kindly bought a bottle opener, so my lighter trick is no longer needed. We decided to do the CM4K quiz that Katie hosted last year, she once again acted as quiz mistress – it was such a fantastic evening! I came second with 29 points and Angel won with 30, but as she had done the quiz before, I’m claiming the victory! I think I definitely could have done better, I blame the Kenya Cane!

 

When we woke up this morning, it was clear that everyone (bar Katie) had been poorly during the night, including myself. We’ve blamed a mixture of the sun and the hot samosas that were left on the bus yesterday lunchtime and the baking sun that we have been out in for the past 2 days – no mention of the alcohol that we drunk last night… Unfortunately, Hafsah was too sick to join us in University today, so she stayed at the Pastoral Centre – hope you feel better soon! I felt that it could only get better from here on, and boy did it! We arrived at university to see that the kitchen staff had prepared eggy bread and scrambled egg for breakfast – it was delicious! For a short period it took away the pain of my cramping stomach, but it soon returned as we prepared to edit in the lecture room.

 

Everyone was so drained and it really showed today, the moral was low and the normal buzz of the lecture room was so silent you could hear a pin drop. Instead of beginning to edit the documentary, I decided to just help Angel out with the editing of the small vignettes. It took a few hours, but was nowhere near as straining as I imagine the documentary will be. Luca finished his work in the morning, and still wasn’t feeling quite right so he returned back to the camp just before lunch. Once again, the cooks really outdid themselves – fried chicken! It’s such a shame that everyone wasn’t there to enjoy it. Lunch was extremely late today, it finished around 3:30pm and as we were heading back to the lecture room we were told that dinner was planned for 5pm. We all let out a slight groan as nobody had an appetite at all.

 

Back at the lecture room I had finished all of the editing, so instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself I decided to catch up on some of the online conversations that we have on student central. Katie and I joked about how cheesy we all are on them, but I still think it’s great that we can keep it light hearted and still learn great information from each other.

 

Thankfully dinner wasn’t served until 6:30pm, we were still not very hungry but I managed to force down some soup. We felt the storm coming in and the wind blew the power to the university, so we ate in darkness. Suddenly the heavens opened and the thunderous sound of rain echoed through the canteen, not only were we blind, but we could no longer hear. The rain got lighter after about 15 minutes and we discussed how the Rongo students had to walk home in the rain – I feel so sorry for them, it’s so much heavier than the English rain that I am accustom to. Eventually the rain was light enough for it to be safe to drive home, so we packed a plate of food for Hafsah and some fruit for Luca and headed off home.

 

I honestly thought this blog would have been very short today, as I planned to get an early night because we are back out in the field tomorrow morning, but once again, I seemed to have droned on a bit, so I will leave it here. I hope we all feel a lot better tomorrow. Goodnight.

 

Sam 🙂

23.01.2018 – Luca

Today was our second day of fieldwork! As usual, we woke up bright and early – I knew it was going to be a good day because we had omelettes at breakfast (which are my absolute favourite), so I was a very happy boy! I could eat those omelettes every day, all day, but I won’t talk about it too much otherwise I’ll start to get hungry and it’s not dinner time yet, haha.

After breakfast, we met up with the other CM4K members in class, though before we headed out for the fieldwork we all had meetings in our groups to clarify and delegate each group member a task for the day as yesterday we struggled a lot with uncertainty. I can say that it made such a phenomenal change! I think yesterday, because it was the first day everyone struggled, but today was an entirely different process, and I feel we all worked together incredibly well. As always, there were some bumps in the road (and that isn’t just metaphorically, the roads are very bumpy here). I really think that moving forwards, the process will only continue to improve. Below I’ve listed all the places we visited today, and descriptors of each place. Just as yesterday, at each location we gathered photographs, video, audio and the longitude and latitude of each place, ready to get the content ready to upload onto the maps! We’ll be editing everything tomorrow, I can’t wait for things to start taking shape. 😊

Cham gi Wadu Shopping Centre – Cham gi Wadu’s shopping centre is in the heart of a lively Luo community, providing local amenities for the people. It consists of a variety of retail businesses, hotels, salon and barber shops. Every week, an open market takes place which is open to all, and community members from both the Luo and Kisii communities are welcome, as in the Luo’s language, ‘Cham gi Wadu’ means ‘share with your neighbour’.

Ongo Health Centre – the Ongo Health Centre originally opened in 1985 as a small medical dispensary, and in 1996 expanded its services to become the Health Centre that it is today. The centre provides medical treatment for members of the community, including anti-viral treatment for HIV. The health centre consists of three wards; in patients, out patients, and a maternity ward and sees around 200 out patients a day, and 3-4 in patients.

Ongo Primary School Project – Ongo Primary school was established in 1984, and offers academic services from pre-school to year 8 students. There are currently 360 students (as of January 23, 2018) and 8 teachers.

Ongo Seventh Day Adventist Church – the Ongo Seventh Day Adventist Church is located next to the Ongo Primary School Project and offers a service every Saturday.

Kitere Primary School – the Kitere Primary school is located next to Rongo University. The school currently has 659 students (as of January 23, 2018), with 12 teachers currently teaching at the academic establishment. The school is funded by N-G-C-D-F Rongo, year 2015 – 2016.

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Overall, it was once again a very busy day. I’m really surprised how different today was. I think everyone deserves a big pat on the back though as our time management dramatically improved. We went from yesterday, spending around an hour at each location, to today, where we spent between 10-20 minutes at each! We’re all progressing, and we’re all working together. 😊

Right, for now I am off to go and get some dinner. Expect more updates very soon, take care.

Luca. 😊