Imbuya more?! [Ekegusii – How are you? (pl.)] And greetings from Kisii at the end of training week! Except for a few late arrivals, our project workers are now settling in to community life. The summer team will be visiting them over the next fortnight to see how they are getting on in their projects and new adventures. This year in Kisii we have 11 project workers across 6 schools in Machongo, Nyakemincha, Gesore, Nyamuya, Maroo Esinde and Riyabu.Bridging the gap between life at home and life in rural Kenya, we spent our first night in the relative luxury of the Ken Vash hotel in Naivasha to rest up after a long and uneventful 17 hour journey to Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Nairobi. Our summer team thought we should set the bar low for the first evening meal, keeping in line with typical student cooking standards! Our humble one-pot stew with rice (recipe below) was well received, and the vegetable fried rice prepared by project workers the next night was great! Future blog posts may document our experiments with the fresh, local produce available in the Kisii markets.
After two days of preparation and in-country training, project workers were excited to meet their head teachers at the annual conference held in the Kisii hotel. Eleven head teachers and representatives from current and graduate project schools met to discuss the partnership of EPAfrica and education in Kenya. First on the agenda was consultation on the new goals-based framework we have brought into the charity. The system is expected to give project workers more freedom to address the underlying issues in a school and bring administration and project workers together to achieve cohesive goals. It was well received. The head teachers also raised that they wish for greater community involvement this year, an exciting prospect. Devolution continues to be popular as it gives the county government the flexibility to direct grants towards the most needy pupils and schools, however plans to reward schools based on their MSS (final exam scores) might leave schools in impoverished areas falling further behind. After a hearty lunch and group photo (keep your eyes peeled), the project workers collected their luggage and travelled out to their schools.
One-pot stew with rice
Serves as much as you can fit in the pot.Ingredients:
For our volunteers, this marked the realisation of training that began back in January, and for our carefully selected schools, the beginning of a fruitful partnership that will benefit their motivated pupils and hard-working staff. A summer with EPAfrica is an opportunity to try many new things. In just this first week, many of our project workers are experiencing ugali – the Kenyan staple food – long drops, and a rural Kenya lifestyle for the first time. An exciting start to the summer! We look forward to the weeks to come.