På fredskorpsutveksling til Naturvernforbundet

I november i år kom Mercy på fredskorpsutveksling fra Kenya til Norge. Her skal hun jobbe et år med miljøvern i Naturvernforbundet sammen med Manuel fra Mosambik. Det er mye som er annerledes for en miljøverner fra Kenya som plutselig befinner seg i kalde og mørke Norge. Her er en liten smakebit:

Given that I came during winter, temperatures drop up to below 0 degrees. The first days I had to fight the biting cold (literally), shopping for warm clothes and boots, and putting on layers and layers of clothes. Even a 1 minute walk to put away garbage required heavy dressing which was very hard to get used to, but now I am a professional in that field. And, I think it’s no longer very cold. A colleague responded to that statement that I am the one who is already used to the cold not the other way round. A good sign.

According to ECA International survey findings, Oslo is the most expensive city to live in the world. Quite scary I must say. High cost of living accompanied by high taxes. It is what it is, life goes on.

At Naturvernforbundet, professionalism is highly upheld. The first weeks at the office I spent in meetings being introduced to all departments by various staff who were very kind making sure I got a proper and detailed orientation on what they work on and what I’ll be interested to be part of. Everyone has a project(s) they are working on, monitoring or managing. Coming from a relatively young new organization, there is so much to learn.  And I really appreciate how everyone is so open and ready to assist where I need assistance and guidance. I had a presentation of YVE Kenya, my home organization to the entire staff and later made another one at Nature and Youth (Natur og Ungdom).

I live in a nice place sharing with Manuel and a colleague. It is said; when you go to Rome do what Romans do: Time keeping has been one of the things I’ve had to adjust as an African timer. I am now used to eating bread for lunch, dressing up with layers of clothes, walking fast and bit serious. Norwegian style.

On another note, I find it quite strange how most people don’t know their neighbours, everybody mind their business; no one speaks to anyone anyhow. Coming from a society where everybody knows everybody is very different. On the trains, one is greeted with serious faces, no smiles. Am still trying to figure it out though.

My social life has been so vibrant, fun and really interesting. I enjoy being in Oslo. Made so many friends in such a short span of time. The African in me seems to be doing its magic. Great times I have trying to experience explore Oslo and its surroundings. Attending parties, Christmas concerts, traditional Norwegian Christmas activities, camping in the forest, and of course lots of dancing (most people don’t dance until after knocking down some beers) so pretty much I’ve become a hype master/mistress, opening the floor for guys to dance. Such a good job I’ve employed myself.

Om deltagere og utvekslingen:

Mercy Saat Kipkorir er 25 år og kommer fra Kenya. Der jobber hun med informasjonsarbeid og prosjektgjennomføring for «Young Volunteers for the Environment». Manuel Joao Cardoso er 24 år og kommer fra vår samarbeidspartner Livaningo i Mosambik. Der jobber han blant annet med distribusjon og produksjon av energieffektive ovner.

Naturvernforbundet har samarbeidet med Fredskorpset siden 2008 og har siden den gang sendt eksperter på utveksling til hverandre både gjennom såkalt Sør-Sør utveksling og Nord-Sør utveksling. I år deltar ti deltagere på utveksling mellom Nepal, Kenya, Mosambik, Tanzania og Norge. For å lese mer om Fredskorpset kan du gå inn på www.fredskorpset.no