We touched down in Wamba this afternoon and were immediately welcomed by many smiling, familiar faces. Lucas and our driver, Mwangi, picked us up at the airstrip, and within 10 minutes of landing, we were off to the Earthwatch Institute to drop off our bags.
After a quick welcome by our old friends at the Institute, we headed back down the long bumpy road to the Treetop Well funded by Woodside Elementary School. We were pleasantly surprised to see that many of the community members had gathered by the well to hear us talk about The Samburu Project, and all the work we were planning to accomplish during our short stay.
Our first goal was to remind them once again about our mission to bring clean water to the Samburu District of Kenya, and to thank them for all they’d done to keep their well in proper condition. After we gave our little spiel, we introduced our next sub-project, which was to surprise some of the Samburu Project Club kids in the Woodside school community with letters written by the kids in the Treetop Community. Thanks to Lucas’ translating, we were able to get several of the older kids excited about communicating with the kids who helped them have water in their community, and they eagerly scribbled away their life stories in the shade of an Acacia tree. Hopefully this’ll be a nice little way to say thank you to all the kids who helped change these people’s lives!
Our next objective was to interview the community members, and ask them about how their lives have changed with the help of the Woodside School Well. The vast majority of the people had never seen (or heard of) a video camera, and therefore didn’t have the slightest idea why they had to talk to a piece of plastic. In order to try to get them more enthusiastic about their stories for our next promotional video, I tried getting Lucas to explain to them that we were going to be able to show people in America their stories by “recording” what they were saying. Unfortunately, once they fully grasped the concept, they became very camera shy and had a harder time sharing their stories.
In the end, it all worked out because I quickly learned from my mistake, and decided not to tell the other half of the adults and kids what the plastic beeping thing did.
Then before we hopped back into the van, we tried to get a couple shots of the well. Within minutes, however, practically the entire community had packed into the well inclosure and was trying to wave into the camera, without realizing they were blocking the well. Luckily we got a few good pictures before the crowds of curious kids swarmed it! 🙂