One of our latest volunteers for our Teach in Africa programme is Susana. Following her PhD and postdoc in Europe, she is now in Mekelle, Ethiopia where she a practical-based set of courses in Molecular Biology to local staff and students. Read about her time below!
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“After a month of being a TReND in Africa volunteer in Ethiopia I know I will be back and that puts a smile on my face. I came to give one Molecular Biology workshop to the students and staff in Mekelle University, and in the end there where three!
I was expecting difficulties. Setting the experiments, lack of reagents and equipment and lots of troubleshooting. And I was not wrong, all of that did happen! However, the enthusiasm of the people assigned to help me to put this workshop together was delightful. We made many trip around the huge Mekelle University: finding the missing reagents, getting the equipment to work, testing solutions, track and receive our shipment from TReNDs base in Switzerland, cleaning and setting up the laboratory. It was a great time, full of smiles and big laughs because there is no place like Africa to make you laugh about life’s adversities. They do it beautifully.
Then the students came. With them great enthusiasm, many many questions, lots of curiosity, true joy seeing their results and of course the laughs. Seeing them in laboratory action was the most fun part. It also made me crazy sometimes, I have to confess. Their eagerness to participate, “fight” for the few pipettes, surround the transilluminator to see the DNA and programme the PCR machine made my days around here. It was a bliss to be able to contribute for their education and their future students, get their feedback and feel there sincere hospitality. Thanks Mekelle I will be back :)”