Name: Tizita Moges Abate
Host Institution: Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources BUNDA CAMPUS
Course: Master of Science degree in Aquaculture
Thesis: FOOD AND FEEDING HABITS OF OREOCHROMIS SHIRANUS REARED UNDER DIFFERENT CONDITIONS BY USING STABLE CARBON ISOTOPE METHOD
Brief story about studying abroad
My name is Tizita Moges Abate. I am an Ethiopian and a member of staff at Haromaya University. Currently I am in Malawi having just completed my MSc in Aquaculture at Lilongwe university of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lilongwe, Malawi.
I arrived in Malawi on 01 November 2013 and started school by the end of November at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I don’t have words to express how difficult was staying a broad for me but it gave me a very good lesson in my life, how can I handle the difficult and memorable times in my life. It has been some how long journey with memories that will never be erased from my mind. When I started class together with five other class mates from Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, Sudan and Malawian the difference on language, culture, norm as well as custom made the togetherness beautiful as well as enjoyable. For example: it was really interesting listening when one of us talked our own language with the people back home. I remember we kept on laughing when one of us was on the phone. I also appreciated the friendliness of the people in Malawi, it was just amazing to stay especially with the local people. I had some experiences working with the local people during my research work and I remember the people especially the children were calling me muzungu (muzungu mean white lady who is rich) hahahaha….. I laughed and I also appreciated their respect and been friendly for all of us.
The first day I arrived it was really difficult to stay alone in Malawi and I struggled until I got used for their life style and knew the country is peaceful. Actually I was cooking by myself my own food and it wasn’t bad food wise in Malawi. The other day I wanted to drink tea and tried searching a cafe where I can get a cup of tea but I didn’t find and I realized that Malawians don’t like tea…LOL. Sometimes I invited tea to some Malawian friends of mine and their answer was no.
There was a guard outside my room and he thought me at least greeting words, then next week I started greeting people by their language (Chichewa) like Mulibanji, Maswera…. and the people started laughing at me instead of replaying. It was wired for me and I asked why are they laughing and someone replayed, because you said good afternoon in the morning (hahahaha) it was good to have a fun like this. After a while I learnt how the people greet each other and I got used for words used for greetings. Sometime later I started talking their language in the market.
Later on something terrible happened to me, I got sick (Malaria) and I stayed at hospital for some days. It was very hard for me to be on bed for days since I don’t have any relative there but people were helping me day and night especially there was a woman who was guarding her daughter who had malaria and that women fed me whatever she had even if I was refusing due to the disease. I really appreciated her care and that was the time I realized it was really a good experience to study in different country.
During the time of research I got good knowledge and experience when I was doing the laboratory work for three months at Bunda college and for a month at university of Minnesota. I went for laboratory analysis (Stable Isotope Analysis) to Minnesota, USA because I was really interested on the laboratory work and my families gave me strength to travelled and do the work by myself by covering all my expenses including travel cost to USA which was around 4000$.
Generally my stay In Malawi was memorable and great despite the challenges I had. I would like to thank my sponsor (Africa Share Capacity Building) who gave me the chance to study abroad and to get more life experiences.