Yesterday, we experienced something that was truly experiencing Kenya. We were honored to attend a meeting of the Gapath Performers and Educators. Gapath, is a mixture of a Meru word and an English word. When translated it means small path. In order to live a healthy life and help others, they must follow a small path.
The Gapath Performers and Educators are a group that uses the traditional mother tongue of the area, traditional songs and dance to teach people about the culture of the Kimeru and to teach people about things like the dangers of alcohol, AIDS, malaria and typhoid.
The group wrote up job descriptions for the people to show them the importance of competency and urge them to think of these requirments when electing their leaders.
The Gapath dancers agreed with the job descriptions for most of the leaders including the chairwoman who was elected unanimously, but secretary was a bit harder.
In order to be a successful group, one person must be able to read and write in English and KiSwahili. The issue with language is that different regions have different mothertoungues. This becomes an issue when traveling out of your district or talking to a person from a different region. Unfortunately, no one in the group was able to read and write both languages. The position was post-poned until new members joined.