At the end of February 2019, two students from the Braeburn International School Arusha joined the Mazingira Team for one week. They were not just looking over our shoulders to learn about what a typical environmental laboratory looks alike but actually got quite some hands-on experience. Read their short report below:
By Melchim Roothaert and Marion Mtei
We were allowed to volunteer at the ILRI Mazingira Centre for four short days for our work experience. We were able to learn so much despite the short period of time we had on our hands in Nairobi.
While we were at the Mazingira Centre we were taught the various work ethics required in a laboratory and basic procedures such as efficiently testing for the pH of soils in water and the evacuation of vials. We also had the opportunity to do first hand sampling of manure emissions and soil emissions from the field, to study nutrient losses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere. It was extremely motivating to know that we were helping with research that would assist the Mazingira Centre in achieving its goals, which include coming up with GHG and environmental baselines, contributing to improving the information we have on soil in Africa and finding efficient feed for livestock which reduces GHG emissions and increases the animal production, ultimately lowering the GHG emission intensities.
We walked in with open minds, and the experience we received at the ILRI Mazingira Centre was more than what we wished for. The relationship between colleagues there amazed us, as they seemed like a family, other than just work mates. This allowed us to be more comfortable with everyone, motivating us to work and learn. We are very grateful to the Mazingira Centre for the opportunity we were offered, as it has given us a clearer vision of which professions we would like to pursue in the near future.