I worked a couple summers at Camp Winnebago, near Augusta, Maine. (Founded 1919, long before the car was a thing!) One of the great things about Winnebago was that they had some thirty camp songs, one for every occasion, mostly written in the 40’s I think. The most sticky of the bunch was ‘Goodnight Winnebago,’ which the entire camp would sing every night before bed; it’s a kind of theme song for the camp. (And a good lullabye for getting a pack of kids ready to chill out for the night!)
We’ve been thinking for most of the last year that it would be great to have a theme for the maths camp. And after nothing happening on it for many months, I wrote a bunch of lyrics the last night of camp and performed it (with some predictable hiccups) at the closing ceremony and then again at the final assembly, before we sent all the students home.
Yesterday we managed to round up a bunch of undergrads in the Maseno music program and work the song up a bit more. The students were really creative and great to work with; I absolutely cannot imagine getting something like this together in just a day back in Toronto. Here’s the last recording of the day!
Today I visited Moi University with David, about a two hour drive from Maseno in the city of Eldoret. Along the way there was a factory tour, a great talk with Moi’s Vice Chancellor, and a somewhat indulgent visit to one of Kenya’s very few cheese factories!
The road out was actually quite good; we expect it has to do with the upcoming elections, and speculate as to their quality in a year’s time. The road work out here tends to be relatively quick and shallow, which means that they deteriorate quickly. We did hit a couple patched of massive potholes today, but for the most part it was smooth sailing.
After the maths camp was done, the international part of the camp came to Nairobi; the UK students took off on a few days of safari. I came along to Hell’s Gate (my first time there), which was fantastic! We biked past lots of zebra and gazelles (some days there are also giraffes, but we didn’t see any this time), and then hiked into an incredibly beautiful gorge. I now really want to learn some rope climbing and head back for a longer stay some time.
Then we got completely soaked by a sudden rainstorm that hit while we were still in the gorge. There were some people killed by flash floods there about two weeks ago; since then, they’ve put quick-ascent emergency exit paths in, with ropes one can hold onto for easy climbing. We were told at the start of the day that typically it takes a couple hours for the flash floods to arrive after you first hear them, but with the heavy rain we moved quickly anyway up one of the escape routes and were just fine. A few of us then drove back to Nairobi (in damp clothes, or whatever could be scrounges) to put Abebe, our Ethiopian friend, on his flight back home.
Well, I seem to have landed safely in Nairobi, in spite of an eventful trip, and am currently sitting in a place called the iHub, an incubation space for tech development. It looks pretty cool, and shortly I’ll be able to provide a review of their espresso!
Their website is http://www.ihub.co.ke, and it seems there are a great number of projects going on in the space. I’m told it’s a slow day, being a Saturday, but it sounds like a great plethora of things occur during the week. There are about fifteen people plugging away in the space none-the-less, and some kind of large meeting going on in one of the corners…