This will be very short because this has been a most uneventful day- except for a long wait to get picked up to go back to the hotel- because of traffic issues.
I just want to give you some miscellaneous notes:
When I tried to create small groups the other day, using the number of siblings the participants had, I had to give it up as soon as Paul told us that he had 44 brothers and sisters (because his father has had 5 wives- and Paul must be in his 60’s) and Ascar said she had 22 brothers and sisters! They weren’t kidding when they said that they like large families. Others had 12, 11, 10, 9 or 8 siblings. Yikes!
The electricity goes on and off quite frequently- at least 2-3 times a day.
Traffic snarls are unbelievable. Just imagine cars facing every direction caught in the same intersection. Today, people jumped out of their cars to try to direct traffic. I’ve attached some photos to try to give you an idea of the traffic situation.
Every other truck or van has some placard or stenciled message about God bless, Go with God, etc., etc.
When I chatted with the major domo this morning as I waited to be picked up to go to the training site, I told him that right now it was 3 F in Madison- which converts to -16 C. He said that when it gets to 13 C (55 F), people are too chilled to go out. When it is 77 F here in Nairobi, I’ve seen people still wearing sweaters, winter coats and hats!
Yesterday morning, during breakfast, we were serenaded by a wonderful choir singing a variety of songs, including Christmas songs. They were out on the patio.
Did I mention that the many juices available at breakfast are all fresh squeezed? I may never be able to drink bottled orange juice ever again!
Mary O, who never managed to find a closer hotel, comes after the class is over, takes the pre-test, which I grade, then we sit and I catch her up on the key content.
A tip in the free weekly Speaker Net email recommended rolling a small ball under your feet to hit the acupressure points and restore aching feet after a long day of standing to conduct training. I can testify that this actually works!
I just love Paul Oloo! He is incredibly wise and always has wonderful insights and explanations during the classes. We had a wonderful chat while waiting for our respective rides after class this afternoon. Of our many topics, he mentioned that he takes a different staff member out to eat every week, to build a good relationship and hear any issues or needs of the staff person. Afterwards, when they get back to work, he sits with the person to ask what s/he observed during the meal: the ambience, the attitude of the waitperson, the quality of the food, etc., etc.- to help the employee become more conscious of good customer service.
I took a photo of Mary in a beautiful dress. Many of the women select fabric and go to a tailor to get their dresses made.
There is also a photo from the window of the training room, to show you two women walking with bags balanced on their heads.
I’ll have all of Saturday until 7:40 p.m. to explore Nairobi before I have to leave for the airport to begin my trek home. As long as it isn’t raining (which is a big if) I may just walk around (for the first time during this trip, unfortunately, due to my illness and fatigue). I may also go to the Nairobi museum, which is supposed to be excellent.
Speaking of rain, the major domo told me that they usually have rain at night, not during the day as has happened a few days this week.
I’m very proud of myself. I am expected to expand all 22 modules into full days, adding time to existing activities, including more case studies and references, etc. Other than writing up a report of this mission, I said that I would not start work on the revisions until after the holidays. I’ve spent most of this year working 8-15 hours a day, 7 days a week, to design various curricula. I’ve traveled to Jordan, Zambia, twice to NY, and now to Kenya. I’m ready to sleep for 3 straight days, make Christmas treats, finish Christmas shopping, and enjoy my friends and family.
Tomorrow is the 50th year Jubilee. There will be cannon fire at midnight tonight to begin the celebration of 50 years of independence. I have no idea how close I am to where the cannons will be. I guess I’ll find out, if the noise wakes me up.
Stay safe and warm, all of you in snowy hinterlands!