31.05.2010 26 °C
It has been a while since we have updated our news on the blog, but not due to not having any news. There always seem to be plenty of adventures here in Kenya despite your best efforts to control too much excitement…
It seems a while now, but 2 weeks ago, I started a week-long sanitation and hygiene course in Nakuru in the Rift Valley run by a Canadian organisation CAWST (Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology). I was especially pleased since I was sharing the classroom with mainly Kenyans and I was keen to hear their thoughts on issues. It turned out to be the best course that I have ever been involved in, mainly because the learning was so interactive using audio, visual and kinaesthetic modes of teaching. Melinda, the facilitator was excellent and I thought that if I had that type of teaching growing up from all my teachers, I think I would have gotten straight ‘A’s (though still maybe for Maths that would be pushing it…). We were learning how to approach a community to teach about sanitation and hygiene issues – so were taught various participatory methods of making your message heard such as the use of pictures and diagrams and keeping your ‘key message’ short. ‘Chunking’ was one of methods of keeping the information bite-sized and digestible, like a chunk of chocolate or a chunk of lard.
Anyway, now that I have received the certificate and have gained more knowledge, I don’t even know whether I will put it into practice. I want to use it to really make a difference in communities, but as Em and I seek God on what the next steps are after Kenya 2010, we are not yet sure. Any suggestions?
One of the main messages confirmed to me during the training was about approach and attitude in reaching people. Your skills as a community worker are important such as communication or being a team-player, but even more critical is your attitude, especially humility and love. That is a challenge to anyone wanting to reach out to people in any role.
Emma had come to join me on the Easycoach (one of the most reliable and safest bus services in Kenya though it isn’t bright orange), and we thought we might have an overnight in what we thought would be a special place. Near Nakuru, there is a ‘soda lake’ (whatever that is, but it is salty and there is volcanic activity such as hot-springs), called Lake Elementaita. Lonely Planet guide book told me there was a basic guesthouse right on the shoreline and the lake is famous for its pink flamingos! We hired a taxi driver to take us there, stocking up on some food for the night and next morning. It was already dark when we were driving there and we had a bit of trouble finding the place. The road there was incredibly bad – very potholed and at times not even distinguishable as a road. On getting to the gate, eventually (though we didn’t know we had reached it, there was no signpost), everything was dark and the gate was shut. A young guy did arrive and tell us, as we were driving off, that this was actually Flamingo Camp. It seemed deserted, though, and still no light. Another young guy met us and then tried a few times to start a generator, succeeding, after a few failed attempts saw the lights briefly come on, then dim. The place, when illuminated looked pretty nice, but neither our taxi driver, nor ourselves were sure we should be staying a night in such a deserted place. We did notice, however that the building is right on the shore of the lake and would be incredible to wake up to. Next time, we will try and organise ahead of time and see if that makes a difference.
Other than that, the Dr Roger, the female cat is fine