Thank you.

Good evening. 😊

Ah, you thought that you had heard the last from me? Well I am here to say that you have not, muhaha! I have been back in England for an entire week now, and before life gets too hectic, I just wanted to take a moment to say one last, big, GIANT thank you.

Being a part of CM4K has truly been one of the most amazing, life changing experiences that I will forever cherish. This project is phenomenal for so many reasons, and one of those reasons for me has been meeting you all. If this project did not exist, I would have never had the chance to know you, and that thought makes me incredibly sad. Each and every one of you are wonderful, and I see only good things in your futures. I am excited to carry on following the progression of CM4K, to watch it grow, develop, and I hope to be there at the grand opening of the Radio Station – I don’t want to miss it for the world! We have contributed to something amazing, never forget that. Your hard work will never be forgotten.

So once again, thank you all. I hope that I do not have to wait as long as I have to meet you all again. This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you soon!

Luca. 😊

Last day of editing…

Finally the last day of editing has come! As much as I love editing videos it was becoming very stressful for me as I felt very anxious about the amount of work load there was to do. I am an awful person to handle stress, especially large work loads when it is meant to be group contributions.

I found this day particularly useful as I was able to complete all the editing I was meant to do. I found this day particularly tiring as I woke up in a can’t be bothered mood and wanted to get my energy back by staying in bed, all the field work and early mornings had caught up with me. I woke up with stomach pains which later left me and because of it I was considering staying at the Pastoral Centre to sleep off the pain and exhaustion. I knew how important the work we were doing was and how it had to be finished by Wednesday, and the the editing I had to do I didn’t want to pass on to anyone else. With all this I was pretty moody that day… sorry guys!

As usual the weather was hot and I wanted nothing more but to stay outside and soak up the son and forget about the work load. Sitting in the hot classroom I was becoming agitated with my work and I knew how important all this was. In all truthfulness I was being short tempered and I had to keep to myself after lunch and say very little and just focus on my work, which thankfully I was able to complete before the day was over.

Last day in Cham gi Wadu

It was our final day of being out in the community of Cham gi Wadu. Being in the group where we capture establishing shots, our first place of visit was Kanyimach Primary School. Knowing the task in hand I set my group off to gather all vignettes and establishing shots. Visiting schools is always my favourite part of fieldwork, because not only do I have a lot of fun gathering establishing shots but also because the students we visit are always so excited to our presence. It is nice seeing almost everyday what our handwork is going towards and how beneficial our work will be in the future for the people of Cham gi Wadu.

As usual the children surrounded our camera and wanted to be photographed, it’s always nice to see this cooperation from them as it makes the final videos recorded worth it to edit and put together in a final cut. The second place we visited was Kanyimach Mixed Secondary School. Once again here my group and I went off and gathered all the necessary establishing shots we needed. And we visited Kanyimach S.D.A. Church. My favourite place to film was definitely Kogneya Shopping Centre where I got to explore and film the different shops and produces the market offers for the cpmmunity. The was a butcher, hairdressers, shoe repair, shops to buy fizzy drinks, motorbike repair garage. All in all, today was a successful shoot particularly for my group as we collected a lot to make a successful vignette and got our group task completed very quickly. All that is left is to edit what we have gathered from today on Tuesday.

Salon day!

I anticipated and waited patiently for this day as it was the day Hafsah and Katie were getting their hair braided. We did our usual routine of going for breakfast which we were met with sausages and as usual the dogs from the campus were our morning conversation and if there would be a sausage left so Luca can feed the dogs.

Mama Isabelle took myself, Hafsah, Katie, Lydia, Fiona and her 2 girls and baby Isaac to the hairdressers. Having all of us girls together cracking jokes and just being away from the boys we could be girls. The braids turned out amazing for Hafsah and Katie, and we gave Katie a new name for the day; Shenice, with 4 mixed raced babies. I loved spending time with the girls as our crazy personalities entertained the hairdressers to distract them from the tedious time they were spending doing hair.

We returned to the Treat House to meet the boys and there we feasted on a meal of chips, omelette, sausage, beef and samosas. Chips was very much needed that day as were all craving a familiar food from home.

Us girls spent the rest of our time seated on the grass doing catwalks we entertained each other until we were in stitches from laughter. Thinking the day couldn’t get more eventful and hilarious, a fight broke out between a married man and his wife, who had discovered her husband was at the Treat House with his girlfriend. This was such a thrilling event for us girls, especially Mama Isabelle who knew the married man and sent me and Halima off to watch the show go down.

The conflict sent us girls in fits of laughter and comparing it to the television show Love & Hip Hop, and what would us girls do in both women’s situation. It definitely got us girls excited for hours as it was hilarious watching how everyone in the resort ran to watch the fight and seeing the crowd from the public gather. Mama Isabelle wanted it captured on her phone to tell her friends, she was very quick to call her friend and update them on the event. And when we returned to campus for dinner she had already told all the women staff in the kitchen who laughed and laughed.

Lake Simbi

Today we went to Lake Simbi. The journey was as usual with lots of laughter and picking on one another to distract ourselves from the hot bus we are always travelling in. The journey was about and hour and half and I was greatly anticipating to arrive at Lake Simbi, as I really loved Rusinga Island and couldn’t wait to see another beautiful place in Kenya. On our journey e drove through the political rally which had attracted a large crowd, the reason for this rally was held by the NASA coalition which is headed by Raila Odinga who is an opposition leader, against the Jubilee Party.

It was amazing to see everyones passion for the political rally as they were shouting in the streets to our bus to the Kenyan students who also supported the politician and they were supporting someone who wanted to make a good change for Kenya and its people.

Arriving to Lake Simbi your eyes were met with the most amazing lake, it was large as expected with blue water covering the mass of it. The circumference of the lake was unimaginable and my first thought I had was, theres no way I am walking around that lake as it’ll take days, lool. Funny enough, whilst standing beside the lake I witnessed a woman walk the entire area of the lake and I totally praised her, being she wasn’t a young woman and she walked at a slow pace she waled the entire area. When I asked why she was walking the area, I was told that it was common thing to do. The lady walks the entire edge of Lake Simbi, and once she’s completed the walk she then collects the water and takes it to her church, where they use it for healing purposes.

Whilst seated beside the lake we were told the old myth of Lake Simbi a folk tale told by the people of the area. The tale told us about how the law came to be, the healing purposes of it which many people of the area believe and the environmental facts about the lake. Listening to the tale I did get lost as I didn’t think it made sense and had many potholes within it.

All in all I did enjoy seeing Lake Simbi as it was pretty to look at and I did not dare go near the water regardless of its believed healing purposes. Instead I took in the views and the nice breeze that was in the air. The day was lovely as always and it was nice having all CM4K students present.

Ending the day by removing Halima’s braids was funny as all of us girls took part and made many jokes within the process.

Extra editing day

As Luca had mentioned in his blog on Wednesday he was worried the video group weren’t having enough time to edit all videos gathered, especially considering there was only 2 of us editing from our group. I thought this was a nice comment to make from Luca as he was aware of what task we had to had how we had to produce a lot of work quickly for Wednesday next week. Because of this, the fieldwork we were supposed to go on today was pushed back to allow us a day to edit.

This day was more than useful to me as I got a lot of work completed and began new video edits and was able to give Peter all that I had completed as far. This day allowed me to catch up on edits and make any changes that needed to be made. Even though I had a lot to do the day was a drag especially due to how hot it was I became tired and wanted escape outside for some fresh air. Unfortunately, this blog is short but mostly due to my day being spent on editing nothing else happened. But I did appreciate the consideration for editors, if this day wasn’t given I don’t think i’d have gotten as far with editing as I did .

My first post – Thoughts about everyone posts

This is my first time contributing to this website. I feel sad that I couldn’t go to Kenya in the end. After reading my course mates posts here, I could tell that everyone is enjoying themselves and gaining plenty of experiences. I also could tell how everyone is working hard towards everything and trying their best to produce the best outcomes!

While reading people’s posts, I gained a better knowledge on our project and Cham gi Wadu as a community. First, I read Luca’s post about communication. Communication is the most important part for every plan to run smoothly and I understand how hard it is to actually maintain a proper communication between each other. But it is good how everything worked out in the end for them! The second one is post made by Community Media 4 Kenya (which I believe it’s Peter). On one of his posts on day 3 where the community arrive, I could tell how supportive the community are regarding building a community radio station. One of the beneficial for a community radio station is to improving a community by sharing knowledge and information both on what they already know and don’t know before.

Furthermore, the idea of assets mapping is really good! With this community will gain better knowledge on their own community. Also, by teaching them it will be beneficial as they could continue what Brighton students left and creates a better and more thorough assets map.

I am excited to see the results of the videos and interviews! Hope all of this make sense. This post is just what I though of everyone works 🙂

My Last Blog in Kenya – Luca

Hey everyone, it’s just a short one today – and unlike where I usually say it’ll be short and it isn’t, today I promise it will be. This is mainly because it’s a bitter sweet day, everyone is coming together for our final day, and I want to savour my last few moments here at the University surrounded by all the wonderful people we’ve met.

As I didn’t update yesterday due to poor connection, I shall quickly do that now! We had another edit day, so we spent it in the classroom. I quite a bit of spare time as I do not have as much to edit as the other groups (which I do feel quite guilty about). I ended up working on my assignment for this module and just catching up on work, so all in all it was still quite productive. 🙂

It’s now Wednesday, and as I said our final full day at the University. I am unsure when we will be able to get online again – if at all for the rest of the trip. We have the community coming in today, and we’re going to show them the map and all the content we’ve created for it. I really hope they’re happy with what we’ve done! I feel all in all it could be quite an emotional experience!

After lunch, we’re then off to The Treat House to have some goodbye drinks, I’m really quite sad to say goodbye, especially to my little puppy friend Nancy, my heart is breaking! I’d take her home in a heartbeat if I could, she’d be so loved by everyone I just know it. At least I still have my fond memories, I just hope she will be okay, and that people will be kind to her. We’re up bright and early tomorrow too where we’ll be heading off on our safari after a bright and early breakfast, and then it’ll be back to England on Saturday. I am sure that when I get back and when I’ve caught up on life I’ll do a reflection on my whole trip here, I must remind myself to save some for my assignment though. 😛

But once again, thank you for your time. I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about our experiences here as much as we’ve adored being a part of it all. It’s been phenomenal, and I only hope that one day I’ll be able to visit again. But for now, goodbye, it’s been amazing, life-changing, and I’ve met some friends hopefully for life. I’ll update when I arrive back in chilly old Brighton! Be safe everyone, and take care.

Luca. 🙂

Day 14 Final editing day

Well here we are, the last day of editing! It is just amazing how this trip has flown by this year. A great group of students from Brighton, interesting and full of dynamic differences but really hard working and here truly to try and make a difference and not just for an adventure. They have been really great, as have the Kenyan students from Rongo – hard working, friendly, funny and again committed to CM4K’s objectives. I am really happy with them all and proud of each and every one.

Ok enough of the soppy stuff……there is no way we will get everything done today. We have achieved a lot but set ourselves, or rather were set by the community, enormous tasks in the time available. That said it has been great fun, hard work and exhausting for everyone, but great fun. We have one radio show very nearly complete as I type, with another in production. We have a digital story of the fieldwork processes well under. We have process pictures for the first time. We have nearly every location descriptor written up and the translation into Luo is now underway. We have location and profile pictures. We have various video clips for the map; vignettes and a documentary – all in various stages of production despite laptop problems. All in all we have a mountain of data captured using a range of media tools and techniques.

The day‘s editing started with a real big effort by everyone but as Raila Odinga declared himself Kenya’s people’s president in Nairobi our hosts’ attention turned to what might be a momentous day for their nation…..or might just be a damp squib that might be forgotten as a publicity stunt if there is no strategic campaign to follow it up. This remains to be seen – it might be a new start for ‘Baba’ or the beginning of the end. One thing for sure is that Uhuru Kenyatta has damaged himself as a democrat. As events were unfolding in Uhuru Park, Nairobi he ordered a mass communications blackout and TV stations were closed down so coverage could not be seen. Of course there’s the Internet but slowly but surely our access to the Internet was pulled. It started with no access to news channels at Uni. This was then followed by no access to Google to find other news outlets as the University’s connection was pulled. I remained online for a while longer as I had a personal modem and was working on the map. I tried to stay under the radar by staying on My Maps but eventually I was found and that connection was pulled also.

Make no mistake, whilst I am not quite sure of what Odinga hoped to achieve with his declaration, this was censorship by a government with something to hide. It flew in the face of democracy and freedom of speech and assembly as allowed by the Kenyan constitution. I sincerely hope Kenya is not on the slope to dictatorship! I care for this nation and its peoples. I have dear friends on both sides of the political divide and to me the things that bind them are so much more than the differences that are used by some to create fracture and division. If only they could learn to celebrate these differences and embrace them as cultural strengths that make them a richer nation.

Oh well…..time will tell I guess. That’s it for today.

Day 13 Final day in the field

I am pleased to report that during the course of this day, after much stressful ‘tooing and froing’ between myself and Finance and myself and my safari operator Rufus; Rufus and his bank and no doubt the Finance office and the trail of banks and financial institutions along the way…..a document appeared to say the money had been at the end bank since the 23rd. Rufus (safari operator) was able to take this to the bank – who miraculously ‘found’ the money. I was really happy but was left wondering why this document couldn’t have been produced last week? Still……time to forget this now. The matter is finally solved, I am grateful to the staff member in Finance for his prompt replies to my many emails and for his efforts. The students will have their richly deserved R&R on the Massai Mara.

After a more relaxed weekend it was time to get back to work with our last trip to the community. Today the plan was for us to visit Kanyimach Primary and Secondary Schools; the local 7th Day Adventist Church and the shopping centre at Kogenya. The first 3 were all in fairly close proximity and as the routine had by now been honed (with everyone knowing their jobs) everything ran smoothly.

The schools and church are linked by more than proximity. The primary school opened for business in 1926 as a project of the church (founded in 1922) and includes national radio broadcasters and politicians among its former pupils. The thought of a community owned community radio station in the locality was very much an attractive proposition for them and both the Head and Deputy Head spoke enthusiastically about building a relationship between the radio station and the curriculum/school activities.

The secondary school, another church project, is a recent addition and as can be seen from the photos is still under construction. Until its doors opened in 2016 the nearest school was 1.5Km away over very hilly terrain. The locals wanted to build their own school and turned to the church for help. Playing a central role in the community the church is used by secondary school pupils whilst the slow pace of construction takes place. It’s really fascinating to see the central role faith organisations, especially the 7th Day Adventists, play in local life in this area in what is a deeply religious country. Local people giving what little they have by some form of tithe system as an act of their faith. Cleary faith based organisations will play a big part in the activities of this community radio station.

We arrived back on campus around 3 for a late lunch. This was followed by an editing session in which a very tired community media crew continued to work on reviewing and editing the content. I can see that it is all coming together but we are highly unlikely to get it all done before we leave. However, the important processes of sensitisation, awareness and community engagement have been facilitated in no uncertain terms. The word is most definitely out and we are increasingly and waved at and greeted cheerily now by local adults (as well as the kids) when they see the old blue Rongo bus bouncing down the roads. Whilst the students worked on their content I located the final few locations through the process I described a few posts ago and felt some satisfaction that every location now had an accurate waypoint.

A late dinner followed and to be perfectly frank I was relieved to get back to my room and fell into bed by 8.30. Of course, I was awake by 12.30 (this seems to be my sleeping pattern here – 4 hours sleep followed by 4 hours dozing on and off). By 2.00 I was up and working until 4am when I went back to bed for a couple of hours light sleep. It had been an exhausting day but I was satisfied with it and mightily relieved that the payment transaction saga was finally over.