Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI



On August 15, 2014, Posted by , In Travelogue, By , With Comments Off on Nairobi

The week went so quickly! I couldn’t believe it was the last day for class. I’ve been very lucky to have Catherine there to videotape. That saved me from having to stand all day another day.

Eleven of the twelve participants really did an excellent facilitation job. I was very pleased! I also learned a lot.

For example, it is possible to have a debate with four different positions represented. Who knew?
The participants took to heart the need to create new small groups and did it in a variety of ways: numbered cards under their seats; playing cards; a grab bag of small folded notes with numbers on them; lining up by height; etc. That was a lot of fun to watch.

Catherine had me cosign the certificates of participation, which were very classy. But during lunch with Sammy, Sam, and Douglas they pointed out that the verbiage on the certificates would be very important to them when they tried to partner with institutions. So I met with Alma to discuss this and she was very open to any suggestions. Sammy later got consensus from the group on the language we should use: Certificate.
This is to certify that _______ successfully completed the Business for Health-Train the Trainer course conducted by Deborah Laurel at Kivi Milimani Hotel, Nairobi from August 11-15, 2014.

On the back of the certificate, they’ll have listed all twenty-two Business for Health modules.
Formalities in this regard are very important to them. Mbogo, who is Chief of Party for abt SHOPS Project in Kenya, came to hand out the certificates (they’ll be replaced by the newly worded ones next week).

Catherine and Alma took photos of each person shaking Mbogo’s hand as they received their certificate.
They absolutely loved the celebration ending. I gave them bottles of bubbles and had them get in a circle and blow them as I played “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. I also instructed them to thank anyone whose involvement in the training helped to make it meaningful for them. They were busy dancing around, blowing bubbles into the air and into each other’s faces, and ultimately all turned to blow bubbles on me!

Then they each wanted a picture taken with me. My face got tired, I smiled so much. Then we had a variety of class photos, taken with approximately 10 cameras!!

Mercy and Alma gathered up my materials and then Mercy joined the others for an impromptu meeting that Melvin called about the association. They had unanimously elected him to be their chair and he took his responsibility very seriously. He wants to register the group, which will cost $2,000 KS. They’ll all contribute equally to get this off the ground.

James, who has been on time ever since the second day, was on time again to take me b back to the hotel. I tried again to download the videos from the group and had a heck of a time. I finally went to bed, exhausted, in disgust.
Oh, I did have dinner, which was gratis. The last two meals I had were not to my taste, and I didn’t even take more than a bit of the second meal. They felt badly about it and told me when I called that there would be no charge. And my meal was lovely- basil tomato soup, a dark meat chicken breast(?), steamed broccoli, carrots and spinach, and a potato. Very nice.

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Since I went to bed around 9:30 pm last night, I got up at my usual time, 5:50 a.m. I went right to work on those videos. With a short intermission for breakfast, I worked on them straight until 2 p.m. There was a lot of cursing and crying in the process. Bottom line: despite trashing almost every other document and movie on my laptop or moving them to a thumb drive, I just couldn’t manage it. I had two days of videos downloaded into iMovie and then realized that the first three participant facilitations were not on them. I can’t tell you how many times I connected and disconnected my video camera to my computer. My iMovie kept freezing. I think I forced it closed and reopened it about thirty times.

When I finally was able to select the clips I needed from yesterday, iMovie would not send them to the file to be formatted as a movie. Something must be wrong with the software. My laptop may not have enough memory, either.

I gave up and wrote to Piotr and to Alma about my incredible lack of success.

At breakfast, I finally got a chance to get waffles, which were never available when I ate my breakfast at 6 a.m. A lovely Victoria made the waffles while we had a nice long chat. Later, when I was leaving I waved goodbye and then stopped at the pastry/bread table right next to her. I decided to load up on a few things for lunch. She told me to put it all on a plate and ran to get a container for everything. She asked if I wanted yogurt or fruit and proceeded to help me add them to the spacious bag she gave me. She even went to wash the apples for me.

It wasn’t until I went to cut up apples to have with my peanut butter that I realized washing the apples made them inedible for me. That is, unless she used bottled water and I have no idea whether she did that or not. Luckily, I had two apples from the fruit left for me in the evening yesterday.

I am completely packed except for my laptop and my Nook, which is charging. James will be picking me up at 6:30. His bill is KS 10,600 for the entire week. $110 isn’t bad for all of that.

I may write more once I am waiting at the Kenyatta airport. I received a notice from the US State Department that, once I get there, I may be screened for Ebola, which has not hit Kenya yet but they are taking lots of precautions.

Thank you for coming along for this trip.




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