cas project, Creativity, Service

Twiga Compost Initiative: Building Stage

Today marked the first day of what I thought would essentially be the most difficult part of the process. Fortunately, however, it’s been a breeze! Receiving a great deal of help from our Jenga TAT group, we’ve begun to physically build the compost bin in the garden behind the Science building (some photos can be found below).

I think that this is perhaps the area of my CAS Project where I’ve really learnt the most for a number of reasons. While I am comfortable speaking to people and coordinating events, I find building things to be incredibly difficult and I think that I initially underestimated the significance of this part of the project and subsequently overestimated the difficulty of the task. Having perceived the construction to be a minor component of the project, I allowed it to be delayed which ultimately led to my anxiety more recently, which has now been put to rest! Based on all of this, I believe that the most significant lesson of this project was time management and meeting problems head on.

Overall, what needs to be done next is simply finishing off the project and communicating with the administration what my plans are. This has already begun through speaking to Mr. Smith and Mr. Allen however, with another brief meeting, I am sure that IST will be on its way to completely revolutionizing the way in which we tackle waste.


Cancer Initiative Conclusions

Yesterday marked my penultimate session in Cancer Initiative, a group I have been working with for the past three years. Ironically, it seemed like yesterday was really the start of true and sustainable IST involvement at the Ujasiri House as well. We had the first meeting in a very long time with a member from Tumaini La Maisha which to me felt like a great introduction for Alqaim, the incoming leader, and a nice way for me to exit.

Reflecting, I am pleased to say that I have contributed the following to Cancer Initiative:

  • Rebooting the weekly visits to Ujasiri House and maintaining planning sessions during school
  • Holding the clothing drive
  • Appreciation

However, I think that there a few of issues that need to be tackled such as:

  • Communication with Tumaini La Maisha
  • Schoolwide involvement and participation
  • Implementation of projects (it seems that we have not done very many projects lately)

Yesterday, in particular, I think that two of these issues were addressed and prepared for improvement. I held a meeting with Beatrice Millinga, the Grant and Social Programme Coordinator, and we discussed possible projects for us to be involved with. My notes are as follows:

  • Scholarships
    • Each scholarship would be for around 600,000tsh and go towards paying for school supplies for students considering attending governtment secondary schools
    • After a conversation today, I thought about perhaps donating old textbooks (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, perhaps Group 3 as well) that are no longer in use because of the changing (especially DP) syllabus
    • A good area to provide donations because it is not supported directly by Tumaini La Maisha
  • Funding for medicine
    • One dose is around 250,000tsh which is mostly funded by Tumaini La Maisha so this is another area where donations could be provided
  • Ujasiri House development
    • Gardening
    • Mural
    • Perhaps this would be a good area to connect with groups such as Jenga or any arts-related TAT groups
  • Arts and crafts activities
    • Bringing in skills to the children
    • Selling handicrafts at the Arts Out Loud Festival — I am going to contact Ms. Patel to set up a stall where the kids can sell the products that they’ve sewn and whatnot
  • IT
    • The kids do not have funding or access to laptops
    • They are in need of maybe a new DVD player for entertainment
    • We are contacting the IT department for this to see if there is anything that the school doesn’t use anymore but is still operational
  • Welcome Pack
    • The welcome packs for the students include thermoteter, mug, container, toiletries, kanga, hand sanitizer, toys
    • We could organize donation drives for toys and clothing in good repair

Given that this will be my last post before I leave Cancer Initiative, I am posting a few photos of the experience, particularly from the previous session which was fantastic!


Action, Kickboxing

Initial Reactions to Kickboxing!

This week marks my second kickboxing session of the year. What an experience! This has probably been one of the most challenging aspects of my CAS experience as a whole that it seems interesting to be facing it so close to exams and TOK finals and whatnot.

Given that I am still fresh to the activity, I will be taking this time to kind of explain or reflect on my initial reactions in regards to my three learning outcomes.

1. Increased awareness of your strengths and areas for growth
Initially, what I’ve become aware of are the two levels of strengths/areas for growth that are involved in kickboxing, or at least my personal fitness experience. The first is physical fitness while the other is a sort of mental strength and capacity for fitness.
In terms of the actual kickboxing, I have identified kicking and kneeing as two areas which I hope to focus on in the following sessions. I think that I have relatively strong punches and that my positioning for punches is quite good for a beginner but what I am really struggling with is leg work. I hurt my leg the other day which is going to teach me to persevere.
As I mentioned, I think that one of my biggest problems with fitness is kind of underestimating myself and not feeling that I am prepared. This is something that I will definitely need to focus on and what I appreciate about these trainings is that we are a small group to encourage and support each other.

2. Undertaking new challenges 
As I have mentioned many times, this is my first time ever kickboxing! As I reflect, however, I am also realizing that this will be my first time engaging in a non-team activity or a small-sized training-focused activity. While I participated in competitive swimming when I was younger which required a great deal of training, the larger size of the group was much less intimidating as I did not feel I needed to focus on myself so much as I was not being focused on per say. With kickboxing, a new challenge that I am facing aside from the hard work itself is being in an environment as personal as this. I think that this will be a great experience in this sense because in university I doubt that I will be engaging in volleyball or any team sports so I will need to conduct a similar exercise regimen to ensure my fitness stays a priority.

3. Develop new skills
I think that what I’ve mentioned previously regarding “undertaking new challenges” resonates strongly with the idea of “developing new skills” for a number of reasons. Each of the challenges mentioned in some way requires new skills to be developed which I should hope to achieve.
On a superficial level, I will be developing kickboxing skills such as punching, kicking, kneeing, and increased cardiovascular endurance. On the other hand however, I am improving my skills when it comes to fitness and exercise in terms of understanding my body and how much exercise it can handle and how to approach this exercise. This skill is perhaps the most valuable as it will teach me what my body requires in terms of food and water and even energy levels for a good and efficient training program.
On another note, it was very interesting when the instructor mentioned what we were doing in a practical setting last week because that had not even occurred to me. I suppose another great benefit of this activity could be the development of self-defense skills!

To finish things off, I’ve attached a lovely photo below of me drenched in sweat after a great kickboxing session – complete with the fierce facial expression!