Half-time in Maputo
Letter from Mozambique! Marlon Bachmann reports on a tough workweek and exciting excursions in the area.
Nov 03, 2015
After a very tough workweek in Mozambique, my colleagues and I had really earned our first weekend. At the Instituto superior Dom Bosco, we now have to tackle even more tasks, since our project has been expanded on short notice. We are now also supposed to replace the two old Windows servers, installing and configuring a new server instead. The hard part now is to coordinate the various tasks without losing track of the big picture, while also explaining everything to the administrator and his assistant so there won’t be any issues after we leave.
Plus, of course, everything we change or set up for the first time also has to be documented. We have now set up the Windows server so that we can also control it remotely so we can support the administrator team even after our return to Germany if necessary.
We have finished configuring the Wi-Fi access points, and now we need to spread them around the campus. To do this, we have created a map of the rooms and are using special software to measure where the Wi-Fi signal is strongest and where the best places to set up the access points are.
We’re still working as if we were on an episode of MacGyver: Everything is improvised. The main thing is for it to work! The server’s LAN cables, for example, are hanging all the way across the room, where they connect to the computers. People take the same approach to everyday life, too, doing things like writing car license plates themselves.
Excursions to the Art Market and Kruger National Park
We spent the weekend at an art market, where Mozambicans sell hand-carved sculptures, silverware, tea canisters, and much more. Then, on Sunday, we went on safari in Kruger National Park, in South Africa. We set off for the South African border at eight in the morning and arrived at the national park two hours later.
The highlight of the safari was a leopard that was lying in wait right next to us on the road. When we inadvertently chased away his dinner, he growled sullenly at us – and then went on his way. We also saw many other animals, including elephants, monkeys, giraffes, and hyenas.
We three apprentices are now starting our last week here. We are curious to see what new surprises await us and are confident that we will be able to overcome any unexpected challenges that may arise.
MoçamBIT is an apprenticeship project launched by apprentices from Strato AG, in Berlin, five years ago. Since Strato AG did not have any apprentices who could be sent to Mozambique this year, the company approached the vocational training association afib, a partner of Freie Universität Berlin. MoçamBIT is currently being implemented for the fifth time; the program is scheduled to run for the long term.
In our campus.leben series "Letters from ..." six students, two doctoral candidates, and an apprentice are reporting on their experiences abroad. Here we introduced the nine travelers, and here are Marlon Bachmann's other reports.