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Friday, May 15, 2009

The Return to Roots

Friday May 15th, 2009

I woke up thinking it was morning only to find my watch said 1:03am! I woke up every two hours and finally got up 10 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to ring at 4:30am. I got up (and made sure I had socks on before walking on the floor) and got ready for a shoot that needed to take place at sunrise. We got to our van and there was no driver to be found; I had to call and let him know we were all waiting for him; (he said his alarm didn’t go off but I wasn’t happy because we couldn’t afford to miss the sunrise!) We left Nyeri and drove back to the little shopping center near Kahira Ini and when we arrived there was already a whole group of students from the school waiting watch us film and this was 5:45am!

We filmed a segment with 2 young girls and then dropped them off at Ngorano Secondary school. (The primary school was closed because they were scheduled to have a track meet with the surrounding primary schools and it was being held at the secondary school field). It was no short distance from where we were shooting to where this track meet was being held, yet all of the other kids had to walk and arrive by the start of the meet! It really is amazing how far these children walk on a daily basis but then it's no surprise when they learn to run well to get to places more quickly! We ran (in our car!) back Karatina to have breakfast and then returned to Ngorano to film there for the day. We were initially supposed to film at Kahira Ini in the morning but they found out they had the track meet and had to postpone. We rearranged our shooting schedule to accommodate that event so went to Ngorano Secondary School instead. The athletic director there had arranged for some of Catherine’s classmates to be there as well as a former teacher and a former cook. It was really cool to talk to them and learn more about Catherine. I interviewed all of them and waited for Catherine and Anthony to arrive. When they did, it was obvious that Catherine was surprised to see former classmates! She seemed to enjoy reminiscing with them and we learned some fun tidbits :-)

We ended up staying there much later than I had anticipated and they prepared lunch for everyone as well. Kenyans are extremely hospitable and it is considered an insult if you are invited to tea or a meal and can not accept. The former classmates helped to serve and we all had lunch together including some of the current teachers.

After lunch we set off with the athletic director in search of Mr. Wambugu, the former headmaster of Ngorano who had great influence on Catherine's life but whom she had not seen since graduating. She wanted to surprise him with a visit. The athletic director said he knew where to find Mr. Wambugu, that it was not far outside of Nyeri but after 2 hours we still had not arrived at the place where he supposedly was. It seemed as if we drove for ages without seeing anything and then we finally reached a tiny town! keeping spirits up on the long drive!

at least it was pretty!

After a half hour of inquiries, we learned that Mr. Wambugu had moved and no one knew where he was. It was disappointing not to be able to capture Catherine reuniting with one of her mentors and it also took the remainder of the day and it was too late to do anything else, but at least the scenery was beautiful and we got some great footage at the secondary school today! I'm looking forward to filming at Kahira Ini tomorrow, Saturday.

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