Today encompassed so many of the best things about being here – music, food, and global learning!
We kicked off the day with a music festival! The SMR choir and drama team traveled to compete in a traditional dance. The girls excitedly loaded the bus and laughed the whole ride to a nearby high school. In the auditorium, several choral groups performed and we enjoyed the traditional Swahili songs and dances. Then, we walked across the huge campus to the games field area for a last minute practice, and I encouraged the girls, “Tabasamu!” (smile!) Many other schools organized and prepared themselves also, and it was quite a scene with different groups in their African tribal costumes, decorating their faces with paint, and tuning traditional musical instruments. We waited (duh!) for a while for our turn, so we used the time wisely …. taking selfies and people watching. Everyone performed very well so the competition was stiff. I proudly watched from the audience as the girls danced to a fun upbeat Somalian song. The full day showcased so much of what African is all about and the people who are so proud to share their culture.
I arrived back at school in time for night class, and I eagerly prepared my iPad and portable wifi router for our Skype call with my students back home. The lesson began with a quick introduction to global communication and how technology connects everyone. Then, the Form 4 computer students jumped for joy when I told them we would be talking live with a Magnolia summer academy class. We connected and everyone clapped and saved excitedly when they saw each other’s faces. We gave a virtual tour of the classroom, and everyone asked questions back and forth about life in Kenya versus life in Louisiana. They talked about the weather, school, technology, food, pets, shopping, and so much more. It was so wonderful to be part of connecting students across the world! After reluctantly hanging up, we continued the fun lesson by learning how the wireless router works and video calling software. At the end of class, I explained how inspiring this experience and global communication has been for me. I encouraged the Form 4 students to dream big and pursue what inspires them. With the help of Kid President, I reminded them to make the world more awesome! I left school at 8:30 P.M., but I didn’t mind at all. That’s saying something when you’ve been at work over 12 hours and you leave with the biggest smile on your face.
When I got home, Ann prepped ingredients to make mandazi! She showed me how to knead the dough, roll it out, cut the shapes, and then fry it. Delicious! I savored the sweet treat for dinner with milk (Ann was shocked that I drink it cold.) and I couldn’t stop smiling. I went to sleep with a full stomach and a huge grin on my face at the end of a perfect day.