May 16th, 2018 – Kisumu, Kenya
Author: Noah Kozminski
The entire HESE group pays a visit to Uzima University College to meet with fellow college students, better understand local culture, and compete in a casual game of football. Uzima is a medical college just outside of Kisumu, that has been in close collaboration with Kijenzi, which is leading a 3-D printing course at the college, as well as stocking an on-campus 3-D printing lab.
A bus from the university arrives at the Sooper Guest House, and with some effort, more than 40 HESE students and team leaders squeeze on board. A journey out of the city center, through construction sites, and down a flooded, potholed dirt road leads the group to Uzima’s campus. Inside the gate, a picturesque view awaits: Clean new buildings with red tile roofs stand on a verdant lawn, broad trees shade walkways, and a panoramic vista of downtown Kisumu across the bay serves as a backdrop for the afternoon’s activities.
Administrative, faculty, and student leaders warmly greet the group, escorting them into a spacious classroom. Uzima students follow, and a few welcoming speeches are given. One mentions the upcoming soccer match between the schools, teasingly hinting at Uzima’s inevitable win, and the HESE students burst into a good-natured indignant uproar. Students from both schools are then left to mingle, sharing experiences, stories, and laughter, before drifting outside to prepare for the game.
Cobbling together a rag-tag team from the mixed assortment of students, the HESE group gets ready for the match — facing off against Uzima’s football team. The game commences, and HESE puts up a good fight, scoring one goal, the second half of the match gets away from the team, and the game ends with a 6-1 victory for Uzima. Sweaty, exhausted, members of both teams gather for a photo, and as groups of students engage in some post-game banter, the evening draws to a close.
Everyone circles up to say farewell, and say thanks for the night. “We had a great time playing,” says HESE’s Ellis Driscoll, speaking to the entire group. “I know it’s cliché, but I’m going to say it anyway — it’s really cool to see that across cultures, people can come together and have a good time.”