Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Trials and Tribulations of Reading in the Village

It seems like it would be the easiest thing in the world. Take some books, a blanket, and a bunch of community volunteers and set up camp by a nice shady tree. Surely the children will come running! So off we went all armed with our collection of story books and prepared with our reading voices and marched into the village. We arrived at our first location and prepared for an onslaught of children. But silence. No pitter patter of tiny feet and no “jambo” echoing around the houses. This was odd we thought. Normally it’s an ambush of kids. Then from a house next door we were kindly informed that we might want to move spots as that tree was now home to a large colony of safari ants. That would explain a lot. So we jumped up (successfully with minimal attack from safari ants) and continued on through the village.

-Immersed in the story!-

En route to our next location we bumped into a large group of kids who excitedly ran towards us as they saw us amble through carrying our load of books. Yes, we decided, this was the place to be. So yet again we lay down our blanket and sat ourselves down, books in hand. This time the children did come running but not for long. Unknown to us this group of kids were supposed to be helping to clean the nearby mosque and were only on a short break so our second attempt at reading in the village was aborted as soon as it began by the Imam wandering over to round up his wayward children. Not to be defeated, we continued onwards further into the village, determined that we could and would find the perfect spot.

-Eager readers-

Then it happened. We turned a corner to see several children playing right next to a perfect shady tree. This place we decided would be perfect. So feeling lucky for the third time we lay down our blanket and picked our book of choice and waited. It didn’t take long for the first child to launch into the group of volunteers, pick their person and sit down next to them eagerly awaiting a story. And after on, they all followed. A brief run to the Madrasa brought another troop over and soon our blanket was overflowing with eager readers. And when it came time to leave we were greeted with demands of “tomorrow, please come back tomorrow” from both children and mamas alike. Success at last!