Today I learned, well I already knew it, but now its confirmed- Kids are kids no matter what continent you are on! Yesterday, they were quiet, not so much today, well they were still quiet responding to questions! There was much more activity today! All the students that took cameras home took many great photos, mostly of their family and neighbors. I'm excited to dig in further. Today we focused our writings and talk on community. I learned a lot about their life here, but there is much more to uncover, their main answer to my questions about what life is like here is "it is good".
I had a Film Aid staff member sit in on the last half of class today and it made the conversation richer, he could help translate and push the conversation along. I learned that Kakuma 1 (25 years old) is the most developed and is peaceful, but Kakuma 4 developed in 2014 is not as peaceful as there are many new people learning to live with new cultures around them.
It seems all of my students live in Kakuma 1, but Kakuma 1 is huge. In fact, Kakuma itself is massive. I didn't understand the breathe of it until we climbed a "mountain" today. More on that soon.
We covered community today, learned about the good things and problems of living in Kakuma. I was shocked and happy to see that the list of good things equalled the poor things. My students are 11-16, only 2 were born in the camp, but all seem to have a positive outlook on where they live. Today, I am really rethinking those "dollar a day" commercials, yes there is truth to them, but as I return home each night filthy from the dusty road, classrooms, and sweat- I understand the photos of the kids in really dirty clothes. Its impossible not to be dirty here, its just how life is. I think having access to money (as in all walks of life) is the challenge- money buys you more food, more clothes, cleaner water, etc etc. I may even get you access to sponsorship faster. Regardless of all of that, these kids seem happy, they are normal, they are teenagers. This honestly makes me so happy. I hope that I do get to crack into their stories a bit more and I know I will because I will be with them for two weeks, but for today I am happy that they are happy.
I'm so thankful for Trevor being a second hand in the class, he is calm smart and I can throw anything at him. He's also awesome with the kids. He's been shooting wonderful video of our classes and taking photos to, I can't wait to see what he does with them!
This evening, we climb a hill near the camp. A large group from Film Aid went together, we hoped on bodas and made our way there. Bodas (spelling of these things will never be correct!) are motorcycles. I was terrified because the roads here are insane and full of ruts. But it was actually really really fun, thankfully I was sandwiched between the driver and Trevor so I felt stable and safe, but it was a beautiful breezy night and it felt great to ride around!
The hill is called Kalemchuch. It a very rocky hill that is an easy climb up and a slippery climb down! We all climbed up and enjoyed the cloudy sunset and breeze. I wondered off to hear the sounds of the camp below- whistles from soccer games and cheering, Muslim prayer, and lots of chatter. It was really amazing, I love moments like this to just sit back for a minute and enjoy the peace.
Three days here, I finally got a towel! YAY!!! Really the only thing I am missing right now is air conditioning, though the mornings and evenings are so pleasant! I also want a hamburger. Other than that I am good, I'm happy to be here and so thrilled to share Literacy Through Photography with these teens! Another exhausting awesome day.