Asembo Bay. It’s in Kenya, somewhere along Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria. It’s not on any maps of Africa, and almost no maps of Kenya bother to identify it. Not even Google Maps, one of man’s greatest atlases, can tell you where it is:it just doesn’t find it within its vast database.
It’s safe to say Asembo Bay is remote. And up until now, you probably did not know that this place existed, nor how its people lived. Sure life is different here; most of the village has no electricity or running water, women and girls carry water and goods atop their heads, and men and boys herd cattle and sheep through the village’s streets.
Yet, these people are not that different from you and me. They too, just like us, have the desire to discover new things; acquire new knowledge and develop new friendships.
On the one hand we hope that the computer lessons we will have taught here will help the orphans in Asembo Bay be better prepared for their professional careers and help them become more employable, even though if for some these careers will start too soon. On the other hand, in teaching the widows of Asembo Bay computer classes, we hope that we will have been able to add an extra tool to the shed of these extraordinarily resourceful women. For we know that during our time here in Kenya, we will have learned countless lessons in humanity from them. The warmth of Kenyan strangers’ smiles who wish only to welcome us to their land, and their confidence in the fact that strange people (like us) fundamentally deserve appreciation rather than apprehension are definitely something for us Westerners to ponder upon.
In the end, we will have developed lasting friendships in Kenya and in Asembo Bay. And on top of all the knowledge which has become available to the people of Asembo Bay thanks to the computers and the internet which we (TCP) have provided here in the past few years, in teaching these people to use these tools, we will have also have given them the power to connect with each other. In being able to check up on old friends, maintain relationships, and develop and nurture new found friendships, Asembo Bay is truly connected to the rest of the world. Think about it, this is one little village in the middle of Africa, which just a few years ago (or just a few minutes for most of us) we did not even know existed. Now, its people are able to learn about Jupiter’s different moons, the cause of various diseases, and events happening around the world at a moment’s notice. And in turn, through email and social media, we are able to know everything that goes on in this little village.
I think we can safely say Asembo Bay has put itself on the map.