Home > Abschlussbericht > Victor Okoth Odhiambo: Final report on the fellowship program

v1Hier lesen Sie den Bericht unseres Stipendiaten Victor Okoth Odhiambo, mit seinen Eindrücke und Impressionen die er während seines sechswöchigen Aufenthaltes in Deutschland sammelte.
Victor wurde im August 2016 zusammen mit Amos Maranga und Elias Muhatia von Bildung fördert Entwicklung e.V. zum Internationalen Ferienkurs der Universität Trier eingeladen. Im Anschluss erfolgte noch eine kurze Studienreise mit unserem Vorsitzenden Dr. J.M. Nebe in die deutsche Hauptstadt nach Berlin, um dort v.a. entwicklungspolitische Institutionen kennenzulernen, aber auch noch mehr über unser Land und seine Geschichte zu erfahren.

My visit to Germany to attend the International Summer School at Trier University was originally stimulated by Dr. Nebe during a joint project with Kenyan and German students which I participated in March 2016 in Nairobi. The costs for the educational journey were financed by the charitable organization “Bildung fördert Entwicklung e.V.”. This offered me a great deal of experience, expounduing my visions and perception of development and sustainability. This was my first time ever flying up 13,974 feet up above the clouds (a dream come true) from Africa, Middle East to the land of civilization Europe, specifically Germany.

During my stay in Germany I encountered a range of new things I’ve never come one on one with, from the cultural diversity, jet lags, new climatic & weather conditions, minus one degree time zone, modern infrastructure, good governance and not forgetting the amazing environmental conscientious. Integrating all these together with some more, I had a smooth lifestyle ever.

The very first thing one can’t miss in Germany is the effective transport system. Popular with all sorts of world best motor vehicles, Deutschland prides itself with the best road networks in the world. Along the country side highways, driving from Frankfurt to Trier, I noticed some telephone booths strategically placed every 2km for toll free emergency purposes only. Motorists and other road users are controlled by the numerous traffic lights and signs, to which all adhere to promptly without any supervision of the traffic police. The network of roads adequately link up with other modes of transportation such as water navigation, a case study of River Mosel, Main, Rhein and Spree here serve as transport routes.

Felix & Victor in an Intercity Express Highspeed Train towards Berlin

Felix & Victor in an Intercity Express Highspeed Train towards Berlin

Connecting fast to towns and cities are the electric trains that are well programmed and time efficient. In the capital, Berlin, train transport is the order of the day. Trains here move 3 levels deep underground as others move on the surface, the engineering behind this was perplexing as I fathomed at the complex nature of the railway network traversing through almost all corners of Berlin. In Germany time is of the essence so I came to learn, every public transport system is programmed according to time schedules; allowing one to easily make traveling and appointment plans. These advanced transport networks facilitated our access to Luxembourg and France during our field excursions.

As I traveled around the towns in Germany, I noticed a society driven by values, one that minds about the environment. Urban planning here has taken keen interest in conserving and protecting forest vegetation. Hygienic conditions are maintained from the provisions of branded waste garbage bins for every waste materials ensuring easy sorting of wastes. Plastic bottles and metallic cans bare a special mark of quality allowing you to return the used cans back to dealers in exchange of 0.25 €, how interesting? I made 5 € doing this. Communities live in clusters setting aside collective lands for agricultural crop production and owning huge tracks of private planted forests. Most of the households within the communities practice green energy production, where house roofing’s are carpeted with solar panels as huge wind mills communally owned supplies electricity. Excess electric energy generated is channeled and sold via the national grid.

Victor in the city of Metz (France) as coachman with „his“ horse

Taking historic tours around, I got to visit some of the old medieval constructions in Trier, Metz, Bitburg, Köln (Cologne), Luxembourg and Berlin. Visiting the old Cathedrals and walking down the medieval streets made me time travel 10 centuries before. It is in Berlin where I had the climax of my German stay, I stood tall at the tallest structure in Germany and the second tallest in the European Union, Berliner Fernsehturm, presented me the chance of doing a one hour rotation dinning in Restaurant Sphere, getting a 360⁰ panoramic view of the entire Berlin horizons. On the governance side I was privileged to take a tour in the German Bundestag (Parliament) where Deutsche constitutional rights are made. Walking around with the guidance of Dr. Nebe, I learnt of the positions of the Berlin wall that divided the east from the west Germany; on with the Berlin wall tour, we did a 2hour visit to the Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation center, show casing live memories of the political and historical situation from 1961-1989.

German language course for beginners

German language course for beginners

26 days of the summer school made it possible for me to interact widely with many nationalities from Germany, USA, Lithuania, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Korea, France, Italy, Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Portugal, Bulgaria and many more. Meeting all people from different culture instilled knowledge in me changing the way I perceive the other races. Learning from each other through dances, sports, sharing local delicacies. The international food festival and the wine festival made my German visit worthwhile, this is where I got to experience over 40 different tastes from 40 countries sharing tables (one people).

As days went by I had to establish my niche so as to ensure I’ll relive all the good memories I had while in Germany, through securing a chance and making a master’s program application for my course in Environmental Science, Remote Sensing and Modelling as well as taking over 8000 pictures with me back to Kenya. The wonderful experiences would not have come easy were it not for the love and support of Dr. Nebe and my friends Felix Madanga, Amos Maranga and Elias Muhatia who made the stay full of smiles.

Victor Okoth Odhiambo’s Summer 2016 Gallery