I am so delighted to be back home and have a reflective moment about my time in Berlin. Though long, it seemed and felt so short. Fantastic is an understatement of my description of the three months I had in Berlin. During this time I met amazing people, atmosphere and environment. The experience and working in an international team have all left a better version of me. I carry all the positives back to my organization and country with a hope to change something even if it is in a small way.
The three months opened my scope of what it takes to work with people of varied backgrounds. Of all the lessons I learnt, time management and team work top my list. I was so impressed at how the team meetings were so effective and the delegation of duties. Everyone is well aware of what he/she is supposed to do and at the end of the day all the tasks are accomplished. I particularly loved how the information would trickle down to us, Non-German speakers. It was my first experience abroad and so far I have left impressed.
Adjusting to cultural differences : from food to dress-codes
When I arrived I was surprised by the cultural differences; right from food, dress-codes and ways of socialization. Of course I expected the food differences while I was coming but at the beginning I felt it was too much away from what I thought. In Kenya most of the time we do spicy, warm meals but it is not the case in Germany. Most of the foods we consume in my rural home directly come from the farm to the kitchen except for beef and fish. Bread, the staple food, at first was a big challenge to me but in the course of time I was able to adjust. In Kenya, we do bread only at breakfast.
At ZSL we had the opportunity to work both at the field and in the office. I loved working out with seeds, soil and the farm tools. I want to particularly thank Gerd for his immense support and lessons well taught in the field. The lessons have left me self-conscious of my consumption and land use. I feel indebted to him. Thanks so much to Benny for allowing us to be responsible for our project and giving us massive support during the execution phase. During this time we had the opportunity to create links, work with and record videos of students in their schools. The videos are particularly important in that they will form the basis of interactions with the schools in Kenya and India.
Of most importance is the global field in Pankow. Such an informational field that really opened my scope of food and food habits around the world. It is the basis of our project and looking forward to have the same idea shared with students and farmers in Kenya. During the next phase in Kenya I am looking forward to visiting the global field in Gilgil Kenya so that we may also take part in the educational projects already going on there.
I had the opportunity to travel in different parts of Berlin and other European countries. I am amazed and loved the wonderful places we visited. I want to thank all my colleagues in the office for their support, attending the Acker-Talk that we organized and executed and also for helping us to overcome language and cultural differences. Thanks so much to my project counterparts, I am indebted to you!
Text by Erick Agure