3.5 days and a lot of dust in the wind

Last I wrote, Matteo and I were getting ready to lead a workshop with the Media Club.  We attended a WISH class for the Form 2 students that was focused on sex ed, specifically STIs.  It’s pretty interesting, for me, to find out more about the WISH program.  I still need to learn more about their curriculum mapping and the fullness of the curriculum.

Media Club seemed to be primarily answered questions about writing, specifically journalism.  The students write for Women In News, primarily from the perspective of the girl.  Many of the students were writing about challenging subjects, including abortion, particularly within a cultural context.  Very hard hitting.  1.5 hours of answering questions, talking about rejections, asking about interviewing strategies, talking about writing through writer’s block or brainstorming.

After that, we had dinner (I’m pretty sure that it was ugali since most days are ugali).  That night we watched “Tai Chi Zero”, one of the better selections of the “bad” movies that I brought with me.  Early to bed and early to rise.

Wednesday was SO packed.
Matteo and I started out with a game drive with Moses in Laikipia North.  Along the way, we learned about flora (whistling thorn acacia, umbrella acacia, yellow bark acacia, shepherd tree, euphorbia tree, Egyptian thorn, wait-a-bit tree, euclia, Sodom apple, prickly pears, poison trees, and desert dates) and fauna (starlings, impalas, zebras – several kinds, African elephants, oryz, warthogs, giraffe, dig digs, hyena, lions, ox peckers, hornbills, monkeys, ronco bird, among others).  In 4 hours, we saw SOOO much.  The pictures really don’t go the experience justice.  And Moses gave us stories, legends, cultural uses for the fauna, and more.  

We returned to campus ready for lunch.  I think it was ugali.  🙂

I immediately started working on prep for the poetry workshop that I would do in the evening before dinner.  I was supposed to have one teacher conference, but I suppose she was too busy.  The teachers here are always doing a great deal.

At 3pm, I had a separate meeting with Wanaina.  I thought I was just going to be showing the Excel sheet.  Turns out that I had MAJOR changes still to make.  Courses have different numbers of papers, different values for those papers, different weights to papers, even different grading scales (humanities versus maths and sciences).  In addition, what I thought was the creation of a grading report also shifting to lead to more intensive data analysis (progress, rankings, comparisons in subjects and across subjects, etc).  Needless to say, that was much of my Wednesday evening after the poetry workshop and dinner.

The poetry workshop was AWESOME!  I taught two poems from Kingdom Animalia by Aracelis Girmay with prompts to 1. After reading, “La Boda del Mar y Arena”, write a love poem that introduces a beloved to a part of yourself that is essential to who you are (I chose my half moon thumbs) and 2. After reading the second poem, write a poem in which you build a space for a mother figure in your poetry or song.  The students asked me questions first about writing, rejection, rhyming, submissions, how I got started writing, why I love poetry, and then we launched into the writing exercises and sharing out.  We closed with questions at around 6pm in time for dinner.  Ugali?  Yes.

Matteo and I were both up very late working on the Excel sheet.

Thursday
We headed to Saint Mary’s Nyeri for a visit.  We were there pretty much most of the day, returning to Nanyuki just to change money and get snacks before a rest and dinner.  Ugali?  No.  Pilau and it was awesome.  More on Saint Mary’s Nyeri at another time.  It was definitely an interesting trip.  Lots learned about Kenyan schooling, Lasallian education in Kenya, volunteers, resources, differences in schooling sites, and more.  That merits a full post.

We finished the day, again, with Excel.

Today, Friday, we went to the Tuwala Maasai Women’s Cultural Center (AMAZING), then on to the Trout Tree Cafe for lunch (a real trout farm and there were monkeys), then to Mitomba Arts to see an arts space that creates from used fabrics and materials, then to get more sweets at the mart in Nanyuki, and home (Daraja) for a rest and dinner.  Ugali?   Yes.  Ended the day with more Excel, but FINALLY finished and sent the finished product out.

So full posts coming on the game drive, Saint Mary’s Nyeri, the Tuwala Center, Mitomba Arts, poetry workshop.

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