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Arriving in the Maasai Mara

So Joe and I have arrived safely in the Mara, and we’re getting settled now into our field camp near the Oloololo Gate. We’re preparing to start the Kedge classes, and have settled on Tuesday as the best day to launch — one week from today. This way, our first class day will coincide with Market Day in Kawai (each medium-to-large town has one market day a week), so our students will be able to spend the morning with us, and then use the afternoon to do their shopping and selling in the market!

We’ll be based in the town of Kawai, where we met today with community leaders and old friends from our previous work in the area. With the support of a few very kind wazee (an mzee is a male community elder; wazee is the plural form), many younger community leaders, as well as the Warden of Oloololo Gate we’re in great shape to get started and very excited to meet our students at the end of this week!

Because of the multiple educational levels of our students, we’ve decided to work on a pairing system — one student who’s quite advanced (can read and write Swahili and English; can do basic mathematic calculations; etc.) will work in a pair with a student who doesn’t yet have those skills. The wazee loved this idea — it brings together community members from different walks of life for a unified goal: to learn. We love it, too, because it gives our women students (who receive vastly fewer educational opportunities than men) a chance to participate more fully, and to receive support and extra help from us as well as from their paired classmate.

And last, but hardly least: you guys may be aware of our growing partnership with the awesome folks (and tech whizzes) over at Kubmo. As part of our work together, we’re testing out a variety of mobile solutions to economic empowerment — and doing a bit of market research while we’re at it. More to come in tomorrow’s daily!

In the meantime, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter & Instagram: @KedgeConserve

With love from Kenya,

Alexa

#kedgeinkenya2014

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