Experiencing the Kakamega culture and Second Week Meeting


Here is PW Rosie Bishop’s take on the past weekend!

 

On Friday night all the PWs travelled back to the central house in Kakamega for our second week meeting. The evening provided a great opportunity to catch up and relax together (along with our house puppy) before we started training early on Saturday morning- much to everyone’s delight.

 

We started our first session with an exercise in which we all drew our schools and annotated them to show both their strengths and weaknesses. The workshop allowed us to share our ideas with one another and compare our different schools (it even turned into a bit of a team building exercise as some groups couldn’t decide whether the classrooms were tilted 30°or not!). We also talked more generally about life in Kenya, and the cultural differences between here and the UK. This discussion was a particularly useful part of training as we aim to integrate into the local community and partner with schools in East Africa.

Bella and Hayden, PWs at St Elizabeth Bumia, giving a presentation on their school

Bella and Hayden, PWs at St Elizabeth Bumia, giving a presentation on their school

On Sunday, Griffin, a long-term friend of EPAfrica, invited us to the Pentecostal Church in Kakamega. In comparison to the UK there was more interaction between the congregation and preachers with a lot of singing and dancing. At one point Griffin, even, led our group to the front where we joined the local youth group dancing- we were later told this was filmed and will be televised on Kenyan TV next week!

After the sermon we had the chance to meet the Bishop and tell some of those who attended the service about our work and homes. Afterwards we visited the house of our night watchman, Lawrence, and had lunch with his family. In the past two weeks Lawrence, who is also a trained plumber, has been visiting many of our partner schools to support our water projects. In spite of his hard work he made a great meal for the ten of us and gave us a tour of the area of town he lives in.

The group of us with Lawrence and his family

The group of us with Lawrence and his family

As part of the tour Lawrence showed us Kakamega High School so we could compare a national school, often the best performing and most expensive type of school in Kenya, with our partner schools. The school had an incredible range of facilities including a large rugby pitch- much to Chris and Tom’s delight. Here, the Principal expressed his pride about his students’ achievements and told us about their football team, the Green Commandos, who are currently national champions with one student even leaving to join FC Barcelona. Meanwhile, we were particularly impressed by the range of extra-curricular activities on offer as a school captain described the accomplishments of their acapella choir, art and drama club and, to my amazement, hockey team!

 

Tom was a Project Worker in 2012, and is the Summer 2016 Project Manager in Kakamega.