Tuesday, June 7, 2011

East Africa Day 24 (Mon June 6): Progress

Next Monday is my last full day on Daraja’s campus. I leave campus bound for new adventures next Tuesday, June 15. These travelers beat me to it, though. Corinne is from Switzerland and Joseba is from Spain. They are riding their bikes from Egypt to South Africa over a time span of six months. They left campus after breakfast. You can check out their blog here.

This morning I met with Vice Principal Victoria for two hours (!) to discuss my Daraja project. We talked about the difficulties of accessing higher education (financial aid) specifically as it relates to our students. Why does my mission of “equalizing access to higher education for Kenyan women” get more complicated the more I learn about the realities of the Kenya system? It’s a good thing that difficulties never disuade me:) I’m thinking of writing a manual and creating an accompanying website to host and disseminate all of the information that I’m gathering for Daraja. Victoria liked my idea and gave me a suggestion for an additional section, which I totally love – how to stay true to your asipirations during your mandatory “gap year” between secondary school and university. She gave me some suggestions for my Nairobi research, which I’m excited to follow up on.

Since I’ve pretty much exhausted the internet’s resources by now, as it relates to my project, I asked her how I can be of service for my final week on campus. After a long talk, we decided that it would be prudent for me to do a Blue Sweater Book Club. I am introducing the book tomorrow (Tuesday) night at dinner, and will invite the students to take one of the twenty-five copies of the book out of the school library, and read an assigned chapter before we meet for an hour on Sunday afternoon for Book Club. I’m so excited to do this! I see it as an introduction to the topic of entrepreneurship and the road less taken. YAY! BIG THANKS to Acumen Fund’s NYC office –specifially Jo-Ann Tan, for providing me with as many copies of the book as I thought I would be able to carry to Kenya in my luggage! :)

Things become clearer each day, as I get a better grasp of the Kenyan education system and how I can be of service to the young women of Kenya. Progress!

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