Ethiopia in 2016, that’s the plan.
We’re gonna do a science, and we’re gonna do it hand-in-hand with some super cool African scientists. And I’m pooping rainbows with excitement!
Me and my sister from another mister, Viks, are off early next year. Well, in theory. African time, y’know. But at least we know the location – The University of Mekelle, in the north of Ethiopia.
An Aussie friend with an African heart gave me some sage advice a while back…. he told me that Africa is a different world, you have to relax and let things flow at their own pace. So, this is me, relaxing. Totally relaxed. Not chewing my nails off wondering about times and dates and accommodation the like. I’m TOTALLY RELAXED.
Anyway this whole thing was Viks’ brainchild: she found this non-profit organisation called TReND (Teaching and Research in Natural Sciences for Development) in Africa. They take volunteers, and place them in African partner universities to share knowledge, share skills, and fly the flag of global scientific collaboration.
So we’re off to share our educational privilege.
I feel really pretentious saying that. I’m just your average dime-a-dozen postdoc, wanting to make a difference, and hoping to not make an absolute ass of myself or get eaten by a lion.
The reason for this whole adventure is that Africa is experiencing brain-drain. This means that the science enthusiasts and other educated people are jumping ship for better prospects overseas. In some areas brain-drain is so bad that newly minted graduates are immediately promoted to course lecturer – a desperate move to simply keep the science alive.
The thing is… Ethiopia may lack the funds and the resources, but any budding scientist that perseveres in those conditions is a freaking genius in my books.
We’re probably gonna learn as much from them as they are from us. Teamwork, baby!
…I really can’t wait.