On the 3rd of February 2015, Angela Kabari and I took the 8.00 am Easy Coach Bungoma bound bus. The journey to get to the Bungoma Easy Coach offices took 8 hours. The ride was uneventful with 2 stops: one in Nakuru town and the other in Eldoret town. By the time we got to Bungoma we were quite tired but pleased to finally have reached.
We had been asked to meet up with the Elewana driver, Moses, who preferred to be called Anko (uncle).Anko was extremely friendly and gave us a truly warm welcome to Bungoma town. We went out of Bungoma town, through Kanduyi (which is an upcoming township on the junction of the Eldoret-Malaba road and the Mumias – Bungoma road) and finally arrived at Amagoro which is quite close to Malaba. The Eldoret-Malaba road is currently under construction thus the drive to Amagoro was quite bumpy. Anko briefed us on the history of Amagoro, sprinkling his narrative with many humorous anecdotes so we hardly noticed the bumpy ride!
When we arrived at the AIC Diocese of Katakwa Mission House - which was where we were to be accommodated during our stay in Amagoro – we were enthusiastically greeted by Bob the Mission House’s dog. He is a very friendly dog and only too willing to lie down and be patted. We met Mama Beatrice and Beatrice – no relation at all – who were the Mission House catering and housekeeping team. These two ladies are AMAZING and the fed us very well not only at the Mission House but also at the training that was held at the Elewana offices.
We had a good night’s rest and woke up the following morning to tackle the day ahead. We arrived at the Elewana offices at 8.30 am and waited for the teachers to arrive. They took quite long, though this had been anticipated by the Amagoro Elewana team. At 10 am we decided to begin the seminar with the few teachers who had arrived. We got to know each other – the introductions took the form of their name, the school they taught in and a unique trait about them.
With the introductions done, we went straight ahead into getting to know what they expected from the training and the challenges that they faced as teachers. We then introduced the concept of paradigms and how changing one’s worldview can help them to tackle life’s challenges.
We took a tea break after which we went back to discuss some of the useful tools that they could use to shift their paradigms with respect to the challenges that they faced.
After lunch we had a practical exercise. They were required to discuss in groups exactly how they would practically carry out this perception change.
Day one of training done, we went back to the Mission House exhausted but happy to be in the balmy climate of Amagoro.
Day Two of training begun on time with 95% of the teachers present. Rev. Zach Drennen took the teachers through an ideal lesson plan that incorporated the tools they had learnt the day before. He made them carry out a practical exercise so that they could show how they had applied these newly learnt tools and ideas!
Rukia from the American Embassy took the teachers through Peer Observation and had a guided discussion as to what attitudes the teachers should adopt when they are carrying it out. The teachers were engaging and responded quite positively to the discussions.
Finally, to end the seminar, we summed up the training with the teachers coming up with action points that they would take home and implement within their different schools.
After Lunch we were joined by Christopher Snipes who is the Cultural Affairs Officer in the American Embassy. He gave a small speech and proceeded to congratulate and hand the certificates to the teachers.
The day ended early since the teachers were going to attend a drama festival competition. Angela and I spent the evening in the company of Mr. Snipes at the Mission House and had quite an enjoyable evening.
We left Amagoro very early on Friday 7th February 2015 and took the Nairobi bound bus from Malaba at 7.00 am. We arrived in Nairobi safe and sound but quite tired.
By Caroline Ouma.