Name: Lucy Mulugo
Host Institution: Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Course: DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL INNOVATIONS OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
Thesis: Socio-cultural and Institutional Arrangements Influencing Uptake of Seed System Technologies: The case of Tissue Culture for Control of Banana Xanthomonas Wilt in Central Uganda
“My experience on a Short Mobility Scholarship Abroad”
Program held at Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi-Kenya
8th July, 2016 to 19th December, 2016
Kenya, beautiful Kenya presents both joys and pains. If equated to a journey, my six month stay in this wonderful country has been met with an intermix of twists, bends, humps, flyovers, etc., making the entire journey a captivating venture! Like for every new experience, living and working in a new environment comes with a lot of expectations which may or may not be met.
Joy Mark Students’ Hostel that I have called home for the last 6 months is about 1 km away from Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). It is also situated on the outskirts of Nairobi city, in a relatively small township called Juja. This therefore presented me with taxis/matatus as the most convenient means of transport to move to the University, Nairobi city, church and once in a while to visit friends. However, I quickly learnt that the Ugandan context of public means of transport is not applicable to our wonderful Kenyan neighbourhood! No, no, no. Once inside a Kenya matatu, the rule of thumb is, “Quickly cling to anything!” (whether a fellow passenger, car seat etc) because you will definitely fall as the taxi quickly speeds off before you sit. I screamed to my shock at my first experience but was left aghast as nobody sympathized or pleaded with the driver to halt. This is normal in Kenya. Secondly, I also learnt that if one is travelling from or to the outskirts of Nairobi, the buses are the better option, more so the Blue bus-Kenya Mpya. The matatus will of course agree with your suggested destination but be not deceived, chances are you will be dumped half or quarter way the journey and yes, you have to alight! Interestingly, it is silently decreed that once inside the taxi, the entire fare to your destination must be paid once seated. It does not matter whether you arrive or not. I bemused at how Kenyan passengers abide by their rules. That’s why I resorted to the Blue bus. The fare is standard and be certain, you will arrive to your destination hustle free.
It has been a wonderful six month for me to re-visit my Swahili (having studied in Kenya in my earlier years). It has been a time for me to practice, polish, re-work and integrate new and current terminologies into my Swahili. Thank you the entire Intra-ACP mobility SHARE project team for the opportunity to experience a different environment!