At 04.30 a.m. the alarm went off already. The bus was going to pick us up at 5 a.m. to bring us to the airport. Everyone was tired, and nobody wanted to say goodbye while the last moments together passed. After long goodbyes and hugs we stepped into the airport and eventually onto the plain. At 08.30 our plain took off, and we left Nairobi- for now!
After breakfast our final evaluation of our exchange started. It started with a weird feeling of melancholy because it meant that the time oft he exchange was really coming to an end… We thought about our high and low lights, things we have learned, our challenges that we had mastered or not and we talked about how to continue with our project after the exchange in Nairobi. In the end we had a round in which everyone got a piece of paper on their back and the others could write positive words on it. „Warm shower“ we call this game. Afters this exercise we all went to our rooms to pack our suitcases and prepare for the farewell party. The evening started with us having dinner together, later then we danced outside while a bonfire warmed the people that wanted to have a conversation. At midnight we had a special surprise for two of our participants: It was Miro’s and Yousuf’s birthday! Each of them had a huge bucket of water poured over their heads, a birthday tradition, and a yummy cake afterwards.
Our last evening in Nairobi had become reality…
The big moment of our presentation has arrived today! After breakfast we had our final rehearsel and talked about the last small improvements. After lunch we took a matatu and walked the final steps to Billian Music Family. Our plan was to first show the 360° films and the pictures of the photographers in an exhibition through which the visitors could walk. Later on, we presented the results of the photographers with comments of the group, as well as the film and the music video of the other two groups. Inbetween the program we had some special guests: two dancings crews and a rapping crew which was incredible! Afterwards we danced a lot and everyone was relieved and happy that all worked out so well!
The festival at Billian Music Family continues! Today the scenes that had been filmed on the past day were edited. Last night the film group managed to finish their movie! And if you got up early today you would find an oddly energetic, Coke drinking Miro in the entrance hall, who’s ambition to finish couldn’t be tamed by his need of sleep. The final phase of working has begun …
Today some people from our group went to the Billian Music Family. An organisation where different activities and offers are found. Today there was a Festival taking place there, in which a few of us were able to give workshops in 360° film to children up to the age of 14. Two people from our group were leading a group of 5 participants. First of all the functions of the camera and the glasses were explained, then the children were supposed to produce a short film of about three minutes. In the meantime the other half of our groups stayed in Amani Center, edited their films or pictures, or recorded more music.
Today was family day. Already on the past day we had split up into groups which would go to three different families: to Loreen’s, Rihannah’s and Mercy’s. We were welcomed very friendly and heartwarming and were given some yummy meals. Also Peter invited some guests to his house, some known faces from the last exchange.Later in the evening we had dinner together. A big THANKYOU to the family, who welcomed us so kindly to their homes!
Most groups were out filming today. Only the photographers stayed in the Amani Center to edit their pictures. Everyone else left almost right after breakfast. The film group went to Dandora to film some clips. The music group also filmed and had the aim to finish their music video this day. They also made some music. All groups had a pretty good time, including some laughs and jokes.In the evening everyone met up as usual for dinner in Amani Center.
It’s shopping time! Well, at least after lunch. Until then the groups still had time to work on their Projects and we played a game together. But then we split up into groups, and took matatus to different destinations. Most people went to the Maasai market to buy some souvenirs and took a walk through the city center.
Today a few groups already startet with the second phase of their work. Because the photo group had taken so many pictures, they first of all had to sort out the ones they will be editing then- not so easy with over 1000 pictures! At the end of the day they seemed happy with their choices. Also the music group started recording their songs. Because there are a lot of construction works going on in Amani Center at the moment it wasn’t so easy to find a quiet place to record. So they ended up recording in Ella’s, Luise’s and Sandra’s room and transformed it into their personal studio. Our filmmakers had studio-time again!
The groups are working ambitiously on their projects! The photography group was in Mathare today to finally take their pictures. Our musicians were very creative as well and continued writing their song together. The film group disappeared into their privat film studio and only showed up at dinner time. Everyone is working quite hard these days. In the evening we came together to have dinner, hang out and talk about our day.
Waking up in Nairobi again, we had breakfast together and started our mid term evalutation afterwards!
We dealt with our personal challenges and successes which we have faced during the exchange until now. Also, the participants had the chance to write letters adressed only to the team or the whole group. In these they could write about their wishes, thoughts, doubts and positive experiences which they wanted to share with the group or just let the team know.
A day earlier than planned we drove back to Nairobi today. During the morning the groups had time to work again and after lunch we started the journey back. Because our rooms weren’t ready to move in we played some games outside and split up into new groups for the rooms. Until dinner time everyone had finally moved in, some people were making music, others were relaxing or having conversations. Later, after our group meeting together and safe spaces everyone hung out together.
This morning after breakfast we sat together and each small group was able to present the concept of their project. We talked about a few improvements and the groups got together again to continue the work. After lunch we hopped onto matatus which brought us to a mystical place. It was a glade between two mountains with a waterfall, splashing through the rocks and trees. We took countless pictures and walked back to the matatus. Back in Tigoni we had time to relax until dinner. Then we had our country meetings.
Today was dedicated to the work in small groups which had come together the past day. After breakfast we met outside for some warm-ups and really waking up to be productive afterwards. For lunch and dinner time we always came together again. Otherwise the groups were able to exchange first ideas and discuss more about their topic. In the evening we had our country meetings.
The aim of this day was the division into small groups, which would then work further on our topic. In the morning we brainstormed on everything we have learned until now and wrote all the topics and subtopics down to a mindmap. After this the participants were free to use their time individually. The teamers had the task to summarize all the mindmaps into one big mindmap. In the end, three groups came togehter: music, film and photography. They will be working together for the following weeks!
Today the focus lay on theater. Babu, who is also called Joseph Wairimu, taught us about theories in the morning. We talked about the definition of theater, about the needed items to actually be able to act and create theater. After lunch we started acting. We laughed a lot while working on the tasks that were given to us. Everyone was supposed to tell a short story from the past day with an extrem emotion. After this, we got together in couples and worked on a short scene which we then presented infront of the whole group. We had A LOT of fun. Later on, we talked in our safe spaces. After dinner we had a bonfire in the forest, where we sang songs until we got tired.
Our morning began with Charles giving us a music workshop. We talked about the meaning music has to us, what is needed to create music and how it can be used in film and speech to achieve a certain atmosphere. After lunch we directly continued with the next workshop, this time: Film und 360°. We learned, that a scene can be filmed in many different ways, depending on the frame there will be a specific message sent out to the audience. Finally, we were supposed to choose two topics and film a short frequency.
Joseph Wairimu, an actor who is going to work with us on theater visited us to stay fort wo nights. After dinner we watched the movie „Nairobi Half Life.“
Let’s go to Tigoni! This morning at 9.30 a.m. we jumped onto the bus to take the journey. On our way, the bus was filled with voices, music and a lot of laughter while the sounds of the city slowly drifted into the silence of the landscape. Arriving in Tigoni, we seperated into the rooms we were given and had lunch. Later on, following the program the groups, that had researched on the topic already before the exchange presented their results and we discussed a bit about the informatio that was given. We were all pretty happy to hear, that the rest of the afternoon was meant tob e free time. On the football pitch parts of our group played a game against the football team from Tigoni. After dinner we had a group reflexion and ended the day with the documentary „Shootback“.
This morning after breakfast we received our todays guest Victor, also called Holvic. He told us a lot about the libraries that he has founded in Mathare, about his motivation and future plans for his project. Afterwards he answered all our questions and we had lunch together. In the afternoon Melissa and Luca had prepared a special game for us: the world trading game. This is a role game through which global trading structures and structures of power can be exposed and shown. The game does this in a clear way to understand complex relations. Afterwards we talked About our thoughts and feelings that had come up during the game and reflected on it.
Our exchange started this morning at 10.00 a.m. with hot coffee, sweet mandazi balls and mango. The german group had arrived late in the night before at the airport in Nairobi and was still a bit exhausted from the journey, but piece by piece the excitement about the coming weeks woke everyone up. The first day was dedicated to the so-called “ice breakers“. Our group got to know each other in first steps by playing games outside, talking and hanging out during the lunch time und breaks. It really didn’t take long for the ice to break though, and our group grew as one quite quickly.
Later on we talked about our agreements on the coming weeks in terms of how we will treat each other and how we want to communicate within the group. We also discussed the program later on, so the whole group was informed about what was to come. As well as, we got together in our country groups to reflect on the day, which will take place every second day. The other days we will be coming together in the whole group during the evening to reflect as one. After having dinner we ended the day with talking, laughter, eating sweets and listening to music.