Thursday, September 14th, 2017 (Mr. & Miss Albinism, Jane Waithera)
We went into Nairobi to pick up Mr. Albinism (Jairus) and Miss Albinism (Loise) to have lunch and plan for our day at Thika School for the blind on Saturday. We ate at the dining hall on the Kenyatta University campus, where Jairus is in school.
After lunch, Alex, Loise and I went to met up with Jane Waithera. Jane is in the documentary “On Beauty,” which deals with issues of genetic disorders and defining beauty. She also works for the organization, Positive Exposure, which “utilizes photography, film and narrative to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical, intellectual and behavioral differences.” She and I had a really interesting conversation about ways to educate people with albinism about their condition and also to educate the general public about what albinism is. This meeting was brief, but we plan to get together later in my trip and brainstorm further. Our initial conversation definitely got my wheels turning and got me very excited about many different possibilities for collaboration.
Friday, September 15th, 2017 (lazy day)
We were all pretty lazy around the house for most of the day. I worked on my blog and on organizing all of the photos I’ve taken so far.
Saturday, September 16th, 2017 (Thika School for the Blind)
We had to wake up and leave super early (5:45) this morning to pick Jairus and Loise up and get to Thika School for the Blind by 9am.
Thika School for the Blind is a primary and secondary boarding school that specializes in educating kids with visual impairments or blindness. There are around 350 students in attendance, 26 of which have albinism, along with 3 teachers.
When we got to the school, all of the students with albinism, in both primary and secondary school, were waiting for us in the chapel. Alex introduced himself and what he does, and then explained a little bit about why we had come. I then got up and introduced myself and the project I was doing. The students and teachers were incredibly receptive and interested. Next, Loise talked about her life story and how she grew into her own skin and gained her confidence. She also talked about the Miss/Mr. Albinism pageant and even gave a cat walk demonstration. Last, Jairus, who is a spoken word artist, talked about his passions and then gave a reading of one of his poems.
These students were so engaged with and inspired by Jairus and Loise. Such a huge part of living with albinism (from what I’ve gathered) is confidence and self-esteem. Having people like Loise, Jairus, Alex, and Honorable Isaac Mwaura is so important for the generation growing up now.
Sunday, September 17th, 2017 (chore day)
Today Sialo and I spent the day together doing chores around the house – laundry, cooking, and general cleaning.
Next stop… Mombasa!