Firstly, let me begin this post by confirming for you that the rest of my time in Addis was thankfully void of any more tales of belongings-stuffed-down-underwear scenarios.
Now that we have cleared that up, I might now take this opportunity to detail briefly what I was actually doing back in Ethiopia. So as I mentioned, I was there for my teams annual meeting, which don’t worry – I won’t bore you with every minute detail of – however I can happily conclude for you, that it was definitely a worthwhile trip from both a work and personal point of view.
Work wise, I was able to gain a greater idea of what it is that is expected of me, and how I can go about getting this done (something I really needed to be honest). Actually, I might stop being so vague and actually detail what the two goals are for those of you who are interested. For those who are not, feel free to skip past the numbered bullet points below.
- Increase the visibility of the work my organisation is partaking in Asia. When I say visibility, we are not only referring to external visibility (fellow ag-science research institutes, national partners and normal folk like you and I), but also within the organisation itself where a large focus has historically been placed upon our work in Africa.
- Provide support to organisation projects which require strengthening in regards to internal communications between scientists etc.
To avoid losing you as a reader forever, I’ll now refrain from detailing how this will be hopefully achieved. If you are absolutely dying to know, contact me somehow and I guess I will tell you..?
So now that we have the professional benefits of my trip out of the way, I’ll now quickly touch upon how enjoyable it was for me socially. So last time I went over, I met my colleagues in Nairobi and Kenya briefly, but since it was quite a whirlwind trip, I didn’t really get to socialise with them to any great deal apart from my Scottish expat boss and his French second in charge, who don’t get me wrong – were absolutely great.
However, this time, I got to spend more time with my colleagues who were more around my age, and actually from the region. It was an incredibly eye opening, interesting and fun few days. I was provided with a first-hand introduction of Kenyan politics, current affairs and social norms etc (hilarious group of people in Kenya supposedly called Luo’s who talk in the strangest manner). On top of that, I also got to hear amazing tales of how leopards had attacked cows on the work campus in town, and another tale of how a casual afternoon BBQ with mates resulted in the group being unwittingly encircled by a pride of lions and having to call upon park rangers to rescue them.
Paul, Tezira, myself, Muthoni, Jane and Alan (Cheers for the photo Muthoni!)
Needless to say I am looking forward to going back if I get the chance. Hopefully to Kenya next time. Hopefully with some additional time so I can see the big five whilst visiting the Masai Mara which would be an absolute dream.