Hapo Sawa! (It’s all good)

By Ayeesha Menon in Kilifi

I’ve been in Kilifi, working with the “Moving the Goalposts” girls, for just three days now… but already I feel like they have taught me more than I have taught them. I am aware of how corny that sounds… But hey, I’ve finally decided to embrace my corniness. It’s a by product of something I learned from the MTG girls… They are who they are… No excuses, no apologies! They squeal with excitement at having worked out how to set up a facebook account; they relish having learned how to find their favourite musicians on Youtube… Musicians like Ali Kiba, Sudi Boy & the oh-so-cool Chikuzee! They are beautiful by virtue of their simplicity; And for their joie de vivre… I admire them and look up to them.

Last night we were at one of the football screenings… hundreds of villagers gathered in front of the inflatable screen that was set up to watch the match. One of the village girls sat beside me, introduced herself and asked which tribe I belonged to. I thought it was the “brownness” of my skin that prompted this question… Until she started to question me about the Paraguay – Spain match we were watching and asked which tribes they were from!

So I have decided to embrace my corniness and just say it… If I learn to be half as sincere as any of these girls at MTG before I return to my “tribe”… I would consider myself very lucky.

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IT Lessons with the MTG Girls

by Jon Jones

One of my goals here as a an IT techie is to teach the Moving the Goalposts local volunteer girls so that they can feel as confident as possible with Information Technology.

Despite little previous experience they all seem to have an uncanny ability to search for and play the latest Kenya music video hits on YouTube 🙂

But of course that’s the key – making it fun to learn. So we’ve all tried in our own little ways to make the lessons fun

We went through creating email accounts, taking a picture of the class in silly poses, and sending it to newly created email friends.

…The plan is that as the Kenya Field of Dreams project draws to a close MTG volunteers can carry on teaching the local school girls with some of their newly found IT skills. It’s both heartening and amazing how fast the girls have been learning.

Check out some of the pics on Flickr

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Silver linings

By Datshiane in Kilifi

Phase 3 are already entering our last week at MTG and it still feels like a dream – although the power cuts and rain are very much real!

It’s been an exciting last 8 days, and unpredictable too. Unlike phases 1 and 2 we still have yet to receive a school.

We were expecting two sets of primary school children, but the impending exam season means they’ve been called off.   In many ways it is a shame as it would have been a wonderful opportunity to get them started on the basics of word processing and the internet. It also would have been a lovely introduction for the MTG girls to start off their teaching roles. The legacy of the project now depends on them and we want to put them in the best possible position so that when we leave they’re able to carry on passing on the skills they’ve learnt in the last few weeks.

However, the lack of school children over the last few days has meant exactly that – we have been able to work solidly with them, consolidating their skills and, now, helping them with their voice projection and confidence in how to lead a class. So there is a silver lining in every cloud – sometimes you can see it glinting off the creek by Mnarani Bay.

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WiMAX has arrived!

By Martin in Kilifi

Despite being a few days late, WiMAX has arrived in MTG! I heard about it yesterday so have yet to see just how good it is. Hopefully it’ll mean that once we leave with our fancy satellite equipment MTG will still have access to broadband Internet and can continue the excellent work in teaching students about computers and the Internet.

WiMAX Antenna at MTG

WiMAX Antenna at MTG

Meanwhile at the screenings we’ve shown a video made made and written by the MTG girls (and edited by some of the volunteers) about hygiene, specifically about the benefits of washing your hands. Check out a browse quality copy at YouTube.

Today I lead my first technology class with the girls from MTG. It was a class about email and after a slightly awkward start, the girls started to engage well. The highlight for me was when Andy Marsh, who was assisting, declined a hat suggestion that the girls had emailed him and instead emailed the class suggesting he buy a “kubwa nyama hat” (which translates to big meat hat). Needless to say the girls didn’t think the hat would suit him.

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There are heroisms all around us…

By Peter

With reference to chapter one of The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s, I write another post for the Kenya Field of Dreams Blog. Yesterday, Saturday the third of July in preparation for American Independence Day, we showed the recorded game of Brazil against the Netherlands. I have to say I am not really a fan of the Netherlands football strip, I think it is to do with the font, the six looks like a nine when the player is upside down after a particularly over the top foul. But in a way, I am glad that the Netherlands went through to the next round since we are working for a certain Dutch lady, Cocky van Dam, (pronounced Co-kee), for Moving the Goalposts.

So back to the rural school setting for the showing, without any electricity and potentially running water, it was great to show the game and curiously even better to see the stars, the Milky Way, the Southern Cross without the moon obliterating the starscape. No camera could do justice to this scene. So I didn’t attempt it.

Moving the Goalposts and Kenya Field of Dreams are getting more and more coverage as the month gets longer, a previous post mentioned the piece on Woman’s Hour on Radio 4. In our hotel, one of party (Alex Goodey) got talking to a lady from Wiltshire who had learned about Moving the Goalposts from Woman’s Hour several months earlier. Yesterday morning, a piece went out on Radio 4’s documentary series, From Our Own Correspondent that describes the whole process of the screenings from the initial arrival to the final wheel spin over the compacted earthen road as we leave. The screen and electrical equipment were kindly donated by Google and the girls were given a great deal of help from Stuart Farmer from Open Air Cinema.

On Friday, I got promoted from classroom assistant to shared teaching responsibilities with Andy Marsh (from KPMG), our resident accountant in plain clothes, and we were asked to enthuse the children and get them to do a short play based on a journey. This is similar to asking an English Year 8 group to write a play in French. After some cajoling, the pupils excelled to the challenge and we ended up filming them on Flip Cameras (also generously donated by a kind benefactor to the project). They laughed so much when they saw themselves on the screen from the computer.

So as I leave the township of Kilifi, Moving the Goalposts and Kenya Field of Dreams project, I am brought to mind of the many heroisms that are present in this wonderful corner of Kenya. There are the muzungus, Sarah and Cocky, who have run the Moving the Goalposts project; the Moving the Goalposts girls who have to master the English language which they do so lyrically; Kahindi, James and the other Minibus, Matatu and Tuck-Tuck drivers who drive over such changeable surface conditions; the girls we have all taught and coped with our varying accents; the tailor who made some shirts for me and didn’t make them look like a marquee; the various Kenya Field of Dreams volunteers from Google, the BBC and the interlopers of which I was one who added to the rich tapestry of life and finally to Harshad who came up with the original idea to send us out here. I hope that this project reaches greater heights like an eagle that floats on the thermals over the African plains, that it continues to spread its message like a coral reef spreads over the shallow sea floors and inspire many people like water from a waterfall nourishes many lives.

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Woman’s Hour!

by Annie

Really it’s Woman’s Hour and a half, if you’re playing football – but we’ve got some coverage on BBC Radio 4, which you can listen online (anywhere in the world) using BBC iPlayer, skip forward to 23m49s.

Enjoy!

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Weathering the storm

By Alex in Kilifi

Oddly, it’s not the high-technology which struggles here – we have a satellite internet connection, 3G broadband dongles and excellent mobile coverage for organisation, and imminent arrival of WiMax – it’s the low tech: Weather, sanitation, electricity.

It just makes you wonder: What did the Romans ever do for us? Wine. Oh yes…. the local joke is to encourage tourists to drink the delicate sap of the palm tree, known as ‘God’s water’, slightly alcoholic and unbelievably awful to taste.

Back to the point in hand. The weather has been kind to us, despite entering rainy season and attempting screenings every day, we’ve only abandoned two through bad weather. Today, with a bad forecast, several long showers and a threatening sky, tonight’s show looks doubtful.

It might not sound like much, but rain causes road problems (i.e. they might not be passable), scares away audiences and is a general health risk. We certainly must avoid our audience developing hypothermia, sitting on wet ground in wet clothes, etc.

Everyone feels bad when we don’t do a screening because we and the team at MTG feel we’re letting whole communities down…

Fingers crossed, eh?

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