Nairobi – First Teaching Day

kinnon —  May 30, 2006 — Leave a comment

After a refreshing, relaxing weekend, we awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Monday morning…or not. (And what does "bushy-tailed" mean, anyway.) Whether it was the noise of the city, the off-key singing of the local Iman’s call-to-prayer at 5 am or just an uncomfortable bed, we awoke ready to go back to bed. But made it through the first day.

Promised 15 students initially, and then 10 on Thursday – we are teaching eight students, two of whom are still in transit. All of this group will go on to the TV production course – and probably will be joined by ten others. The scripts they write in this course will be produced in the next and then edited in the final post-production course.

Today we began with a "who we are" presentation and then heard from our students about who they are. Perhaps I should say, we strained to hear who they are, as Kenyan students tend to be soft-spoken at the beginning of these classes. (Imbi and I have taught here three times before.) And they were competing with the sounds of the Valley and Ngong Roads around us.

We then had them write a three paragraph "story" for us – each choosing to tell their own stories. They can all write…but there’s work to be done.

Imbi and I are both fans of Roy Williams (the Wizard of Ads) and we used Roy’s Thought Particles book to help them understand the different languages and sub-languages of the mind. We’ll see how they do when we review the material this morning.

The day ended with the pilot of House, MD. We’ve brought the entire first season with us to use as an example of good series production.

We had our own education expanded after class. Hanging out with some Kenyan friends, we had the pleasure of being stopped by a policeman.

Nick had been on the phone dealing with a customer in India, and had missed his wife telling him to put his phone down – there was a policeman up ahead. Driving whilst on the phone is now illegal in Kenya. The officer was incredibly rude to Nick – probably hoping for a bribe and he became ruder when he realized the bribe was not forthcoming. We ended up having to drive to a police station where Nick had to post bail of 5000 Kenya Shillings and will spend most of today in court waiting to see a judge. Kenya doesn’t seem to ge the concept of recieving a ticket from an officer and then paying it.

The cell phone law might be deemed progressive, but the bureaucracy certainly isn’t.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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