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Archive for March 27, 2009

Day 23

Today I accompanied a bunch of WEAEP-K’s staff to the opening of a vocational school and resource center in one of the area villages. It is located about an hours drive away from Kakamega. On the way there, on a bumpy dirt road we found our way was blocked by a jack-knifed semi with a huge electrical transformer on it. To get around this we had to drive into the field beside the road. There were a bunch of people there, yelling ensued, and a payment was made to drive on the land. Then an old women cam running up and threw herself in front of our car, just yelling and yelling. A crowd was gathering. We had apparently driven on her shamba as well and were told by her that we either had to pay or run her over. More money was given and we were finally on our way.

The vocational school is located at a primary school that provided us with a room to house 16 sewing machines. About 20 girls identified through the area’s women’s groups will begin tailoring classes there. The resource center, aka a few shelves in the same room as the sewing machines, has information about a wide variety of issues such as women’s rights and domestic violence that the villagers can access.

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It was a formal event running on Africa time, meaning it started 2 hours later than it was supposed to. A few of our board members were on hand, as well as a few individuals from the department of education and the area chief. The girls accepted into the program prepared some songs to welcome us, everyone was introduced, and speeches were made by all, as well as multiple prayers. I’ve definitely learned from attending events like this that they never start on time and they never take the amount of time allotted because everyone usually gets a chance to say something, proper thanks have to be given all around, and greetings and welcomes have to be given before one can even begin.