28 June 2010

A Really Great Day Makes For A Really Lengthy Post

Today began bright and early...breakfast at 7am (with a few late arrivals, of course).

In effort to get a picture of each team member today (close, but not quite), we started the photography right after first cups of coffee.

Natalie and Ryanne
Maureen and Cindy
Michelle, Maureen and Rachel
Cindy, Allan, Emmanuel and Jaya
Angel and Zury
Before departing for a full day, we sang a few songs and read through Matthew 25. As we compared the characteristics of sheep and goats, we prayed that God would set our eyes on Him today...that we would see Him present in everyone we met on our adventures.

I know that God heard this prayer. I know that each of our students to attest to His answer of this prayer today.

Our first stop was Kajiji Records. Kanjii Mbugua, who was once the Worship Leader for Mavuno Church, now runs this record studio which focuses on transforming culture through the media. They write songs, record, mix and produce albums and even direct, shoot and edit music videos. And this was what we had come to talk about.

Our team listening, politely
Maybe it's because they are being filmed?
Tomorrow afternoon, our team will star in the music video. Yep, you've read that correctly. Kanjii and his team have chosen a song by a current hip-hop superstar (not Jay-Z, though I wish it were), hired a film crew and chosen the location for the shoot.

We are to show up tomorrow morning, in costume (pictures to be posted tomorrow), ready to film. Being incredible detail-oriented, and extremely aware of the difficulty involved in coordinating 16 teenagers, I am a little nervous about what tomorrow will look like...can't wait to share all about it!

BP and Kanjii
After our meeting, as we waited for the bus to return, we took a few pictures...but not before Matt spend about 15 minutes trying to convince us of the coolness of convertible pants.

Evidently, a little demonstration was necessary
I'm sticking with my initial opinion: kinda lame
Sorry Matt.
Our first Team Mabadiliko picture
Maureen, Courtney and Angel
Zury, Rachel and Cindy
After lunch (which was delicious), we headed out to Kibera slum, the largest slum in East Africa, to visit ZanaAfrica (a ministry of Mavuno Church).

Zana's founder, Megan, a Harvard graduate, has lived in Nairobi for nine years. Over time she began to realize that one of the biggest needs for girls in the impoverished community was sanitary pads. As she continued to distribute pads in schools around Kibera, she became increasingly more aware of the damage these products are causing the environment. So, she took the most logical step possible: invent a new sanitary pad that is cheaper and biodegradable. (It is currently in the developmental stages, but from what we heard today, it could be ready for mass production soon).

Our team of 20 broke in to four groups and were each dropped-off at different schools in Kibera to participate in Zana's involvement in these schools. Three of the groups went to visit Empowerment Clubs and my group participated in a distribution of sanitary pads at St. Juliet Primary school. What an experience of tangible life-change.
The principal, Jarrod, gave us the history of the facility
As he wrapped-up, the classes were dismissed and the grounds were filled with hundreds of little voices calling out "How are you?!"
The girls in grades 5-8 filed in to one classroom for the presentation (a brief, male-led, how-t0) and distribution

Michelle and friend
One of the other groups saw a short performance by some of the school girls.
And even heard a song or two.
Natalie teaching a game to the school children
Ryanne asking these two children their names
(in Swahili...well done, Ry)
Preston keeps the children entertained
Our group met-up back at Zana's field office to share tea and biscuits as we heard about the program history, vision and ways we can get involved from home. The students had seen, heard and felt some overwhelming things during the visit to the schools...Megan and her team did an excellent job helping to identify some of the questions that were raised, as well as small steps toward answers.
Beautiful sunset from Kibera
On our way to dinner at Pastor Grace's house (the Pastor of Teenz Konnekt at Mavuno), we made a quick stop for some World Cup jerseys. The rest of us waited in the car.

Maureen and Michelle
I asked Emmanuel to make his "best Emmanuel face", to which he replied "wait, not yet, okay...now!"
We had been waiting a while and the drive to Pastor Grace's was about 35 minutes...perfect length of time for a nap!
Kenyan dinner: chapati, sukumawiki, chicken, rice and salad.

As a team, we are trying our best to not only record the moments of learning (and even the process of learning), but also share them with our supporters and family back home.

Tonight, before bed, we shot a quick video with Emmanuel and Michelle, each sharing a bit about what they've seen, felt and learned in our first two days. The lobby was dark, but lucky for us, we met a German documentarian in the lobby who offered to set-up a light for us.
If you read this entire post, you are a champ.
I almost gave up half-way through, but the stories and experiences are too good to leave unrecorded.

I can't wait to go to sleep...simply so I can wake up again tomorrow for more of this!


PETE Di LALLO said...

Thanks Alli,
Reading this post was a real trip for me...you're the best when it comes to narrating the happenings...
we are so proud of you knowing that you are loving every minute of your Kenya vacation, er, no, I mean trip...
love you

Cathi said...

I can't believe it's only been two days and God is already showing you all so much! I'm so excited for future posts, and especially to see the costumes for the music video :)

Julie Hibbard said...

I can hear the "How are YOU?!!!" So happy that you are there and seeing NEW things too! Thank you for sharing!! I love you!

Mama Oasis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PETE Di LALLO said...

Loved hearing from you and seeing your lovely face, You are truly in a loving place and you have so much love to give. I think I'm on a LOVEING trip.OK / Everything looks WONDERFUL !!! Bum