Day 7 In Nairobi – Saying Goodbye.

Update from genevieve on day 7 in Nairobi: Today promised to be a beautiful but difficut day. And it was. Beautiful because we would be spending the day with our friends from Safe Spaces doing yoga, working on presentations skills and debriefing about our time together under a radiant blue sky. Difficult because we would be saying goodbye to our friends.

And so we participated in a yoga class led by Joy in the middle of a beautiful grass courtyard surrounded by college buildings, and overlooking a slum, with curious passerbys wondering what was going on exactly. Lululemon has not yet opened in Nairobi… Some of us rediscovered muscles we had forgotten about entirely…

We then moved on to the presentations the girls had worked on the day before in the workshop led by Sara and Persis. Each team got up, faced the audience and presented that part of Safe Spaces they had been working on. For many of us, making presentations using powerpoint has become easy, almost natural. We know how to do it, where to stand, how to keep the audience interested, etc. We know how to build a powerpoint presentation, include cool visuals and transitions, etc. Before the workshop with Sara and Persis, most of the girls had never worked with powerpoint, much less made a formal presentation using the tool, a projector, etc.

Well, they got it and they got it fast! Their presentations looked good and the presenters avoided many of the pitfalls of presenting for the first time, doing a good job standing in front of their audience and delivering their key messages. At the end of the day, they said how proud they were of having been able to do this and how grateful they were to Sara and Persis for having helped them develop additional skills. To celebrate their successful presentations, the girls then danced for us and for themselves. Dancing is important to them as it is a way for them to stay fit, of course, but also of expressing themselves. It also gives them an additional platform on which to demonstrate their talents. The end of the day came fast, too fast, and we got in a circle with all the girls to debrief. We all talked with emotion about how much we had learned from each other, how we would have wished to get to know each other better, how we hoped this was a beginning, not an end.  One of the girls read a poem she had written that morning, talking about our friendship and how this was not goodbye by see you later!

Sara, Persis, Claudia and I will return to Canada to create Friends of Safe Spaces and continue our journey, from afar for now, carrying in our heart the memory of Florence, Linda, Mamu, Nancy, Sissy, Anasthasia, Joy, Bella, Jay Jay (we have talked a lot about the girls but here’s one boy who has decided to be in the program and contribute to building a Safe Space for him and for the girls), Maureen, Sheila, Mamma Sheila and Nish, the amazing woman who is building a community of strong women who will change their world. They are an inspiration to us. Farewell!

One Response to “Day 7 In Nairobi – Saying Goodbye.”

  1. francine October 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Journey home safely… your blog has touched all those who have been following– amazing!

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