The first semester of my master-program of “Agricultural sciences in the tropics and subtropics” was just about to be over, when I already left to the tropics: to Kenya. During the semester I worked as a research assistant in a university project about solar milk cooling. In the semester break beginning of March I was then send to Kenya, to coordinate the installations of two new systems. They were part of a project to assess the business model behind the technological innovation: to check if the benefits of the systems are high enough to cover the system costs.
I arrived in Nairobi late in the night, then, after some hours of sleep I continued to Kisumu, at the border of the Lake Victoria, in the western part of Kenya. Temperatures were of course a bit challenging, from -10 °C in Stuttgart to a sudden +30 °C, but I wouldn’t complain. Arrived in Kisumu Airport I met with a colleague, Georgia from South Africa, who partly works as a consultant in the project. A driver named Cosmos (who also already drove around colleagues in former missions) drove us the next days to the different installation points in rural areas in the north. I still wonder if his name was really Cosmos, I kind of doubt it =D
- Georgia and I arrive late in the evening at our booked hotel in Kitale. Georgia (with a huge experience in travelling and hotels in Africa), asks at the check in for two quiet rooms, far away from the generator. We are asked to have a seat in the lounge, someone would come to do the registration. They bring us some delicious Chai (tea with milk). We are tired from an exhausting day. 20 minutes later, a receptionist comes with some papers to fill in and disappears. We fill the documents and wait. We are tired. And hungry. The receptionists have some discussions and phone calls going on at the reception. There seems to be some trouble. After ten minutes of waiting we bring them the papers and tell them that we would like to get to our rooms. They want to see our passports and ask us to please have a seat and drink some Chai. We do so. A 20 minutes later they want to bring us to the rooms. We hear the sound of a generator. Georgia eventually mocks about it and tells that “this is why you always ask for a room far away from it…”. The receptionist seems to feel a bit uncomfortable. We arrive to the rooms, they are basically next to the generator. The rooms seem to vibrate. We kindly ask to get other rooms (it was kind of a big hotel). They tell us they are all booked out, these would be the only ones. We tell them that they either find us other rooms or another hotel and go to eat in the restaurant of the hotel. The food is delicious. We see some guest moving around with luggage. One hour later, the receptionists tell us that they have two quiet rooms for us. We are happy.
For three days we interviewed about 20 farmers at the two installation sites about their household and milk situation. Filling out the questionnaires was super interesting, to get an understanding of the farmers living situation, income and expenses or the way the they Kenya. weiterlesen