Open Air Cinema in Kenya: Audio-Visual Training

I get a good laugh from being corrected by my students; a feel-good-surprised type of laugh. Its a good sign that they are listening, interested, and know something extra about what you are teaching. It happened today, just after I started the audio/visual training about eight Kenyan girls from the surrounding Kilifi villages.

As I was teaching them about audio signals and XLR cables etc. I held up an end of XLR cable and was about to plug it into the loudspeaker. One of the girls informed me that in fact this end of the audio cable, is the male end, and sends the sound, so actually Mr. Stuart, you plug this one into your speaker, and handed me the other end of the cable. I laughed with delight. It reminds me of another training we conducted in Africa about two years back.

I was in Nduta UN Refugee Camp on the border of Burundi and Rwanda and we were training locals how to inflate a giant inflatable screen and how to securely tie and anchor it. A tall Congolese fisherman smiled at me, grabbed the rope from my hand, and tied a sliding clove hitch around the stake with ease. Everyone here on the coast already know their knots, which makes my job a little bit easier. The girls were happy with the training.

They liked using the audio mixer to blend the music, movie, and microphone sounds. The touch screen on the iPad was mesmerizing for them and they gathered around it in amazement. They intuitively got the hang of the iPad applications, particularly Google Earth which was obviously their favorite.

With a few finger gestures they zoomed around the map of coastal Kenya. Tomorrow is the inflatable screen training and our first event. The students assured me they would all be there. My expectations aren't too high though on the first event day. First trainings usually just involve an introduction to the inflatable movie screen, because typically, nobody's ever even seen one before. 


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