Tuesday afternoon (15th of November) we went to the Junction. This is where Okana road and Nairobi road (the highway to Nairobi) meet. The junction could also be called the shopping centre of Okana. There are multiple shops, like a tailoring shop, a barber, a bike shop, a pharmacy and there are around 20 stalls where people sell fish, tomatoes, rice and second hand clothes.
Emaculate Akinji - 19
Behind a stall with tomatoes and other goods, there was a young woman sitting and talking to other girls. We walked up to her and at first she looked like she wasn’t eager to talk with us. This could be because her English was not that good.
At first we asked her if she knew SRI and if she was going to visit the community centre. She said she knew it, but that she was not going to visit the community centre, because she works during the day. Then we asked her how she brought her goods to the market stall. She told us that she does not live in Okana, and that she travels daily from Fangjila to Ahero and Okana by BodaBoda or Matatu. She said it takes a long time and that she would like to bring more goods to the market. Her family does not own a motorbike or bicycle that she can use. She finished high school and is not going to precede her education.
At this point the whole market was aware that there were Mzungu’s walking around.
Mildred Otieno – 35
When we asked Mildred if she was going to visit the community centre, she thought that we were some sort of recruiters that were trying to sign her up. We explained to her that we were just trying to analyse the area to get more information about the use of the community centre. She told us that she would come to educate herself. She would like to learn to use a computer and she asked us if there would be classes for adults. She understood that the service could not be free of charge, and for her it would really depend on the prices for her to come.
She gets her fish from the lake and she brings it by PikiPiki (motorbike) to the market. She does not own a motorbike or bicycle. When we asked if she would like to transfer more goods at once, she told us that this is al the capital that she can afford, so she does not need more transport capacity.
By now the whole market was asking if we wanted to make pictures of them. We also figured out that most of them, did not speak well enough English to have a worthy interview with. So we decided to try the shops. First we went to the bike repair shop.
Christian – 36
The only man, out of ten, that could speak English (Or that had enough courage). We asked him where most bikes in the villages were used for. He told us it was mostly to transport local wood over small distances. The pieces of wood are mostly around 2 feet (Around 66 cm). It would be nice if they had a bigger transport capacity. They buy their bikes in Kisumu or Ahero for around 6000/7000 ksh.
Christian told us that he knew SRI and that he would make use of the cybercafé, and he was expecting to pay for the Internet. He would also like to learn how to make use of a computer and get access to study books.
We walked towards the barbershop and the owner came out to talk to us. Sadly he was not really able to have a conversation in English. When we asked him if he would visit the community centre, he thought we were offering him a job. He told us that he could do construction, tailoring, anything we wanted. We had to explain that we were not job recruiters and that we would like to know if he would come to the pavilions in his spare time. He said he would, for fun.
We then decided that that was enough for the day.