A Sweden-Kenya exchange

Gundua Foundation

It is around 29°C and partially sunny in Kisima today. A warm moisture is left in the air after a couple of weeks of alternating sun and rain where Kisima, at its 2,400 meters above sea level, has a relatively pleasant climate for the region. 20-30 degrees Celsius all year around, with dryer and wetter periods spread. It’s seldom below 10 °C.

The usual diet is largely vegetarian, where a typical meal consists of a type of cornmeal porridge, collard greens, stewed beans and thin pan-fried tortilla bread. This is the kind of meal served as school lunch too. Given these factors the meetings between the Swedish and Kenyan cultures can result in some interesting new knowledge. Like when around 30 of our matriculants at Gundua Secondary School were recently visited by Richard Ohlson’s association. The class then got two very different seminars on typical Swedish weather and food, which resulted in both education and laughter.

The preparation of an everyday meal
The preparation of an everyday meal

Group 1 did a presentation on Sweden with the theme being the Swedish weather and told the class about all the things the cold winter weather enables Swedes to do. It started with a geography lecture on the distance between the two countries, followed by a slide show of skating, a road on the Luleälv, the ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi, animal ice sculptures etc. It ended with a view of the midnight sun’s bright skies, 11 pm on Walpurgis Night 2017.

Group 2 presenting in front of the class
Group 2 presenting in front of the class

Group 2 introduced the Swedish cuisine, cooking right there in the classroom. The result was both cooking and tasting yellow pea soup, blood bread, Kalix roe and fermented Baltic herring! The whole class took part in cooking and eating, with the pea soup proving to be a real hit! The final event was an old-school Viking helmet being passed around – to everyone’s delight!