Reflections on Skyping with James

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Reflections on Skyping with James

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Mr. Karim Ajania and Mr. James Lekaada in Samburu, Kenya

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Reflections by the Pencils for Africa Team after the Skype call with

James Lekaada, Member of the Pencils for Africa Advisory Board

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Nicolas, Editor-in-Chief

Jambo James!

Thank you so much for having a Skype call with us!

I really enjoyed talking with you and learning about your rich and diverse culture.

It was really fun to learn some Swahili from you and Mr. Ajania. Learning some of the language helped me to really get a sense of your culture. I enjoyed learning about the story of the creation of the cows. When you told the story, I was wondering about a question. Maybe you can get back to me with the answer if you possibly can. The question is:

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Does everyone who comes to your wedding give you a cow?

What are some of the other traditional wedding gifts?

Thank you again so much for taking time, late at night, to get to know us and talk to us.

Even though we had technical difficulties with the sound of Skype, I was still really satisfied with our chat. It was very exciting to connect with you and to start learning about the Samburu.

It was very exciting to connect with you and start learning about the Samburu. Learning some of the language helped me to really get a sense of your culture.

I enjoyed learning about the creation story of the cows.

— Nicolas

Below is the book on the Samburu the PFA Team have been researching.

SamburuBook

If you want to go quickly, go alone,

if you want to go far, go together.

— Samburu proverb

ChyahSamburu

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Colin Colin, Deputy Editor

James is a very inspirational person that provides insight into the life of some African people. He lives a simple life but is happy and cares for the land. These days many people aren’t as connected to the land and don’t think of it as a gift, but as a resource. The Samburu people truly care about the earth and are stewards of the land.

It was also interesting to learn about the Swahili language because it helps me to become more closely connected to the Samburu.

Overall, James was incredibly interesting to talk to and a true steward of the land.

James lives a simple life but is happy and cares for the land.

These days many people aren’t as connected to the land and don’t think of it as a gift, but as a resource.

— Colin

ChyahSamburu

Ms. Weitzman visiting James’ village in Samburu one year ago

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Carly

Carly, Assistant Editor

It was such a wonderful experience to Skype with James and learn about the Samburu and their culture.

One thing that particularly drew me in was how much they value family. In particular, the respect they give to their elders and view them as the leaders of the village.

Secondly, I loved listening to the story of how they got cows. Wow, the cows came down on steps from the sky.

Lastly, it was interesting to hear that elephants have the right of way. This just shows how much elephants are protected, respected, and honored by the Samburu.

In conclusion, meeting with James was such a wonderful experience because it opened my eyes to a completely new and different culture from my own.

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One thing that particularly drew me in was how much James and the Samburu value family – the respect they give to their elders and view them as the leaders of the village.

Meeting with James was such a wonderful experience because it opened my eyes to a completely new and different culture from my own.

— Carly

KarimSamburu

Mr. Ajania visiting James’ village in Samburu one year ago

CharlottePFACharlotte, Assistant Editor

I loved skyping with James because being in touch with somebody from Africa is already a huge jump for our group.

It shows that we are moving forward and achieving our goals as a whole.

Talking with James was so uplifting because he was so happy and he taught all of us so much.

I learned how to say African words in Swahili  and learned about his culture. I know, that from this Skype call we will benefit because it will help us connect more with the people of Africa.

Talking with James was so uplifting because he was so happy and he taught all of us so much. I learned how to say African words in Swahili and learned about his culture.

— Charlotte

Joseph

Mr. Ajania visiting the mud hut of a Samuru Elder in James’ village

BenBen, Assistant Editor

I am so happy that we have finally Skyped with James! He is a very interesting and fun person.

His personality is friendly and kind. I liked him immediately.

I am very excited to hear that he has gotten a computer to now connect with us. That is a massive step of bringing the world full circle. This is a sign that Pencils for Africa is advancing in their goal of changing the narrative of Africa.

We can now see their culture and nice people like we did with!

I am super amazed at what we have accomplished and that I can meet real Africans now (not just people who work there)!

I look forward to further Skyping with James and the many other Samburu people in Africa.

Kenyamap

I am very excited to hear that James has gotten a computer to connect with us. That is a massive step of bringing the world full circle. This is a sign that Pencils for Africa is advancing in their goal of changing the narrative of Africa.

I am super amazed at what we have accomplished and that I can meet real Africans now (not just people who work there)!

— Ben

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Lucia's Question

Lucia, Assistant Editor

When James’ face popped up on the computer screen, the whole room lit up. It wasn’t just his white teeth that shined, his whole being was just so HAPPY! I honestly felt like we were in a movie.

This beautiful man was waving at us from Africa! James embraced every single moment of our 45 minute lunch break.

He kept his eyes wide open, making eye contact with each of us. It was like a sunburst when he said, “Hi Lucia!”

This is a happy man. Having the opportunity to ask questions about James’ life in Samburu was eye opening and jaw dropping.

This beautiful man was waving at us from Africa!

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I learned that he wants white cows for his wedding ceremony.  I wonder what things we do for ceremonies here in the US that James would find interesting and similar.

I learned about stories that his elders have told.

The legends about the gods and cows were really interesting and he made me want to learn more about his wonderful world that we were so lucky to be a part of in the middle of our afternoon.

It was like a sunburst when James said, “Hi Lucia!”

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When James’ face popped up on the computer screen, the whole room lit up. His whole being was just so HAPPY!

It was like a sunburst when he said, “Hi Lucia!”

This is a happy man. He made me want to learn more about his wonderful world that we were so lucky to be a part of in the middle of our afternoon.

— Lucia

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ShannonPFAShannon, Assistant Editor

One of my favourite Skype calls through my time at PFA had to be this one. It was so fun and eye-opening to meet this amazing man. The call made me think about how different things are between people and places.

Here, I am happy, getting a great education, with great friends, and surrounded by lots of technology.

There is James, who is happy, and in a wonderful community, helping the elephants, and with his wife and children.

There is James, who is happy, and in a wonderful community, and with his wife and children, helping the elephants!

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Samburu Elephants (Photo by Chyah Weitzman)

It is so wonderful that even though things are so different and varying across the world, there are always people who are happy and love their lifestyles.

It was so wonderful to hear about his cows, his village, and his lifestyle.

During these PFA Skype calls, I am always reminded of how many amazing people are out there, working hard to help others and achieving great things, like James is doing with the elephants.

James was incredibly interesting and I hope to hear from him again.

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Here, I am happy, getting a great education, with great friends, and surrounded by lots of technology.

There is James, who is happy, and in a wonderful community, helping the elephants, and with his wife and children.

During these PFA Skype calls, I am reminded of how many amazing people are out there, working hard to help others, like James is doing with the elephants.

— Shannon

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