Saturday, September 7, 2013

Africa Project Research Mission Blog Entry One (7/17/13) Wednesday- Day 1 of Research

Entry One (7/17/13) Wednesday- Day 1 of Research
Here is our TEAM (this photo is form our 2nd to last day)

If you have not been able to follow the trip from start to now- here is a quick run through to catch you up.
 Monday-         -We flew from Buffalo to Newark and then to Zurich
Tuesday-        -We flew from Zurich to Nairobi
-Landed in Nairobi and ate dinner and went to bed
 You are all officially caught up.
We woke up at 6 AM (which in Buffalo is 11:00 PM) in order to get started on our research mission. We met for breakfast at the Gracia Gardens restaurant. We ate made to order omelets and pancakes among other delicious food choices and a lot of coffee (for me anyway). We headed over to the Shine Center.
 This is information form the AYP page on the Shine Center (
 “Africa Yoga Project Shine Center is a unique education and empowerment school, and a community based social enterprise in the heart of Nairobi, Kenya. Our intention is to be of service by sharing yoga with every body regardless of fitness level, age, experience or background.
The Shine Center is a place where people come together to explore new and healthier ways of being, actively inquire about the issues of their life and put inspiration into practice. We promise an experience that will not only stretch, strengthen and empower you in body and being, but that will be more FUN than you have ever imagined possible. We don’t pretend that our partnership in your empowerment will be effortless—but it will be extraordinarily rewarding. Like the sun, the positive results produced at the Shine Center radiate out into our families, our communities and our globe – allowing you to contribute to a happier and healthier world.”
 At the Shine Center, the research team from the USA met the research assistants from AYP/Kenya. That is, Catherine, Jerry, Jessalyn, Carla, Susan, Steve, Brooke, and Nan were joined by Joyce, Jamo, Louise, Irene, Musa, and Wanji.  We had a long meeting during which we went over the research protocol and answered all the questions that the research team members had. We cleared up a few issues with our demographic form (clarifying questions, etc…). Then, we took a lunch break and practiced yoga with all of the AYP teachers. Wanji and Susan taught an amazing class!
This is where it gets fun. You see it is Brooke’s birthday today and in Nairobi it is tradition to get “washed” on your birthday. The teachers from AYP had a huge cake for Brooke and then poured two bottles of water over her head. Brooke was a graceful and loving birthday girl! And she may even be able to skip a shower tonight : ) !

Brooke Getting Washed! Happy Birthday!

 Next up was the first official brainstorming session with the AYP teachers. They were wonderful and helpful and we learned so much! Tomorrow we will be distilling all of their thoughts and feelings about their experiences with AYP into survey questions that will be administered this Saturday. The transition from Phase I brainstorming to Phase II rating and sorting is a bit tricky. We need to distill the items generated during brainstorming; then, input the items into the computer and create a survey and sorting cards. These must be copied and prepared for the rating and sorting portion of the study. We are very happy to report that AYP purchased two paper cutters so that we can effectively prepare sorting cards.
 Tomorrow is Day 2 of the research. The team is strong, bright, and eager. I am so happy to be working with such a wonderful group of people!
 Send us energy for tomorrow. We love and miss you all.
Catherine Cottone

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