Assembly in Swahili - Blog by Beverley Newman

As I am writing this I am in a Land Cruiser en route to Ol Maisor. We left the Nairobi hotel at 8.30 this morning and it should take us 6 to 7 hours to reach the school – depending on the state of the roads.

I love this drive – it allows you time to think, or to clear your mind, to wonder at the beauty of Kenya and to get to know your colleagues a bit better. It really highlights the remoteness of the Island School, which when you are here adds so much to whole experience.

I like to sit up front next to Clive Dougherty, who runs the operations side of things for us – it gives us a chance to make sure everything is in place and discuss any logistics issues. And when you think about the scale of trip and the people involved – there are always plenty of those.

I am also sitting next to Clive to brush up on a bit of Swahili (a first generation Kenyan he speaks it fluently). Why? Well a big part of this whole opportunity is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone – so I will be speaking at the school assembly this week in Swahili! Let me caveat that, in advance I will be using Clive to help me translate and embellish the very, very limited vocabulary I have and then I shall do my best not to have to read it word for word. My greatest fear is that the children look at me like I am speaking Double Dutch.

Beverley Newman