Expert at Excel for a Week
This week I got my first real taste for what it means to have a desk job. Even though the community conversations and the recycling system that BAMATO have in place work well at the moment, they do not have a system of properly filing their records and important documents that they may need. So it was with this in mind that we decided that creating an efficient filing system for their records and also putting those records on the computer would help them to see where the other gaps in their organization lie so that they may make improvements. Though my excel skills are only what I gained from two introductory economics classes this year, I have surprisingly been able to figure out the gaps in my knowledge to make the rudimentary tables that they need.
The week has been a well needed reminder to the privilege that we often take for granted in the U.S. My computer skills are by no means at the expert level much less the mediocre level, however the rudimentary knowledge that I do have has proven to exceed that of the people that I work with at BAMATO. Not to say that this is any fault of their own but instead the circumstances that they have been brought up in. In that regard they have done an incredible amount to overcome the challenges that they face in their communities. As is true throughout most of the informal settlements they face issues such as lack of proper sanitation facilities, poor housing which helps lead to malaria, and poor roads which makes transportation difficult when it rains. These are of course just some of the issues that for the most part we do not face and often take for granted. However through all of this and most likely inspired by these issues the people at BAMATO work to improve the quality of life for the people in their area and day in and day out work to clean up the informal settlements in the Kisumu area.
Augie Masucci ’17