From Their Perspective Web Site

Friday, March 16, 2012

We are starting to plan our fundraising events for KENYA 2013!

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Haba na Haba for a Changing World


1Meru Kenya is a place that the majority of westerners are yet to hear of. It is safe to say that none of our group knew exactly what to expect in the months leading up to our departure to the other side of the globe. After just under three weeks time in this beautiful land a sense of understanding is evident within our group, and conceptions of a world we once thought we knew no longer parallel to the way it will now appear.

Our time here has opened senses to a world that few Americans see, and a people in a chapter of history that our own never experienced. It is inspiring and similarly thought provoking to see; you look at the streets and see people carrying fruit to sell at the market, donkeys pulling carts and assortments of raw goods being sold to support merchants and families alike, while simultaneously wireless connections fly through the airwaves above a population almost universally owning cell phones. Truly a wild sight be behold. This is a place you can read about in text books, but one can only begin to understand through the naked eye.

So how is it that our group found ourselves interacting with the progression of this Eastern African Nation? We came as an eclectic group of four media professionals, a nurse, two teachers and a facilities engineer following a vision to teach young Kenyan students the power of media and information technology. We concentrated our work with schools in the local Meru area, while also aiming to branch out to as many students as we could effectively help. Our main goal was to open possibilities and craft a cultural exchange for everyone involved. This would not be an easy task with so many in need of training and instruction, yet it was a duty we saw fit for the enormous untapped potential that awaited across the sea.

It is without a doubt that the diffusion of our efforts would have had little impact without the selflessness and action of one local Meru teacher by the name of John Kamwara. John is a man who comes from a rural area outside of Meru. Since his childhood John has grown to spread education from his small native village to the city of Meru, and is now a respected public figure awarded as one of the best teachers in the area. He had previously traveled to our nation with the intention of building global partnerships that foster higher education some three years ago. John has been a leader for education and progression in Kenya, and helped built the partnership that brought us here.

From this connection with John we were able to access a population of Kenyan students that would have otherwise remained invisible. In our presentations of the multimedia and graphic design we saw students interest grow. Everywhere we went there was a sense of welcome and interest. Although we came to teach we found it was us that had much to learn, every encounter offered new insight and each day a new promise. After seven different schools and time spent with hundreds of people we can say that it is a joy to have come to Meru and we only wish we our stay could be longer.

So what have we learned through the past several weeks? We gained new insights about life, hard work and the value of sharing with others. We encountered some of the world's friendliest people and hospitality unlike any we could have expected. We have found ourselves learning the real meaning of cultural exchange. We have learned that it is one thing to spread information as you came to see it, but another entirely to watch an individual mind ignite with creativity and provide ability for one to craft their own inspiration. This is something that you cannot measure.

Visual communication is now more than ever a tool that shapes the world in which we live. Our time in Kenya has been marked by an attempt to spread this valuable tool while mutually gaining a perspective we can only hope to share with our own culture back home. In a lunch conversation with John last week we were inspired when he told us, "Haba na haba hujaza kebab", a term which translates as "little by little fills a big container". As we pass our last few days of the project we continue to hope that the students of Meru will help to implement technological growth with the tools we have left them. We can see that haba na haba the world can continue to become a better place.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kaaga Girls!



















Wednesday we spent a wonderful day at Kaaga Girls High School. We were all a little disheartened about our shrinking team considering the very recent departure of Lisa, Lou, and Autumn. However, the girls were so much fun and full of life, we found ourselves having the time of our lives very quickly! Their principal was an amazing woman we grew to like very much during our brief meeting over tea. Our class in the library started with about 40 girls, all very enthusiastic about film and a joy to spend time with. By the end of the afternoon girls lined the room; the class had slowly doubled over the course of the afternoon. We set up a youtube channel for their school with the computer instructors and gave out cameras for them to film with. Unfortunately, the Everready batteries we bought turned out to be 'never ready' and they all died after about 10 minuets. But we all managed with what we had, and it was a huge success. They loved performing songs and dances and poems for us. A few of the girls had an amazing dance crew and offered to teach us some dance. We walked to their park and got thrown in a traditional dance with them. Yes, we got it all on film :)

All and all, this is a school we must return to next year in a big way, many of the girls want to be film makers and have scripts and ideas they have been working on. They loved performing and were all very bright and talented. When we left we got so much good will and were mobbed by students asking for our email addresses, Facebook pages, asking us to return. BIG LOVE to everyone at Kaaga! Thank you all so much for an amazing experience we will never forget!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Weekend Getaway

After a week of fulfilling work with the Meru schools and significant time set aside for cataloging our footage the group left Meru saturday morning for a safari to the Samburu National Reserve roughly two hours from the city. The climate was much warmer than the usual over-casted mornings and cool breeze at the reserve and provided a plethora of culture and wildlife apart from any we had yet experienced. When we first arrived on the reserve via our safari van we toured the area seeing several species of birds, elephants, gazelles and baboons, giraffes, and then took a quick detour out of the park to visit the native Samburu people.

The Samburu live in the rural area surrounding the reserve and quickly welcomed us into their village where we joined in Samburu dance and song, and even were allowed to enter their homes for a closer look into their way of life. This was a cultural exchange of a lifetime to say the least.

After our time in the village we returned to the reserve and checked into The Simba Lodge which is seated right on the reserve itself. We then partook in an evening outing and were blessed to see virtually all the wildlife we could have hoped for, even a leopard in the middle of the evening hunt; according to the locals this is an extremely rare sight as these specific cats are highly seclusive and usually remain out of sight.




In the morning we arose promptly for our final wildlife sightseeing at 6:30 AM and then hit the road to return for Meru. We exited with a sense of awe and connection to the land and people in one of the most unique experiences of our lives.




We are now enter the last few days of our fully assembled team as Lou, Autumn and Lisa are set to leave Wednesday. The upcoming week still has much in store for the team as we will we planning and editing tomorrow at Fred's Academy with Jon and the staff and then touring more schools later in the week.


Friday, July 8, 2011

We are on the FRCC site as well!

Would love to hear your comments or questions!

http://blog.frontrange.edu/2011/07/08/frcc-faculty-teaches-students-in-kenya/

Our Day at the Meru Technical Institute

The Meru Technical Training Institute is one of the bigger training institutes in the Meru region and provides students with real world technical schools that can be applied to jobs in the area after graduation. Yesterday we were given the opportunity to tour the school and briefly teach a multimedia class to a group of students. Initially we were surprised to learn that the school not only grows a large portion of the food served to the students in the campus dorms, but also recycles all waste for compost in a sustainable system! This was excellent news and left us questioning why more of these sustainable on location systems are not implemented more at home. 

















This man was well underway in his training with heavy machinery 

















After our tour we enjoyed a delicious lunch and Brandon presented to the students about multi media and graphic design. The students were fascinated my the presentation and curious about our experience and film equipment; conversations flourished long after the presentation into the evening until the administration met again for a wrap up meeting and tea. 

































If a picture is worth a thousands words it will take a documentary to explain all this! A special thanks to the institute for their hospitality and kindness. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fred's Academy Youtube Channel Up and Running!

We are excited to announce that today Fred's Academy launched their Youtube channel and first video! Follow this link follow Fred's Academy as they begin to embark in their multimedia adventures online.




Benjamin Mokua has been teaching at Fred's Academy for 4 years now and is very happy to be the interest of the first uploaded video on the channel. He is looking forward to having a positive reception all over the world. Benjamin insists that this upload is geared towards enhancing the sharing of  educative information and materials for betterment of the society.

More from the University and Technological Insights

Before conversing with the local KeMU students it was difficult to predict what technological experience the student body had previously utilized in terms of the multimedia design. Through Brandon's presentation it came as a surprise to us that not only had several of the university students heard of such applications as Photoshop and Dreamweaver, but some had even used the applications professionally in design projects. One of these more skilled students that stood out to us was Sylvester Ndungu, a young man that has been practicing graphic design and building websites all on his own accord! After our presentations we were thrilled to converse with Sylvester and other students about the use of these tools to be applied to their business and education and furthermore their professional lives after college. Pictured Below is the group after the presentation and Sylvester using one of the FTP Macbooks.

After our trip to the University we went out for a delicious dinner at a local restaurant and enjoyed  wonderful conversations with John Kamwara and some of our other friends from the schools.
We have been gifted to receive such a welcoming response from a culture different yet in many ways similar to our own. We look forward to more exchange and experience in the days to come. Today we are at Fred's Academy again organizing footage and teaching Flip video use to the children and ready  to the new experience that every day holds. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Today at the Kenya Methodist University in Meru

Wow! What an adventure it has been! With very limited internet access the time allowed online has been rationed for preparing for the presentations Autumn, Brandon and Ryan O were set to give today at the Kenya Methodist University (KeMU). After these days of planning and just enough time online to pull it together the presentations are now underway; Autumn presented concepts pertaining to technology and ideas for future growth earlier this morning and Brandon and Ryan are set to present their own presentation on multimedia design within the hour.

Beyond the teaching and planning we received the respect to be granted a private meeting with the Vice Chancellor (AKA University President) in his office. As he is a very busy man this was quite honor and we were grateful for the opportunity to share our vision and exchange ideas for technological growth and the future of KeMU. Below is a picture of our team with the Vice Chancellor himself (pictured with the red tie in front), students, and the rest of the KeMU administration.


We are now set to work more with children at John Kamwara's school Fred's Academy tomorrow. As previously mentioned we appologize for the lack of update, but we are attempting to ger online as much as possible whenever allowed. Jambo from Kenya!

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Day At School



We are making incredible connections with many schools. The Kenyans are amazingly warm and welcoming. Internet is difficult to procure and our schedule is very busy but we will try to write a more in-depth blog entry soon.





Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pre-Trip Check In




Hi All,

We have been planning this trip for a long time and we depart on Tuesday morning. I feel very excited and eager to learn a lot from this experience. I am also very thankful for all of my friends and family who have helped out with this project.

If you are interested in following us we will be blogging right here! If you would like to know some of the history of this project please check out fromtheirperspective.org.

More later,
Brandon