Keroboto, Kenya

A UNIQUE FRENCH EXPERIENCE

 

Anything is possible if you just but believe!

 

Call me OGUTU Keroboto. I lecture in Mathematics with a keen interest in Climate Change and Anthropogenic Effects Modeling  as well as Coupled Climate-Ecology and Climate-Economic Modeling. On being awarded a Sandwich Scholarship from the Embassy of France in Kenya, I am now a doctoral student at the  School of Mathematics ,University of Nairobi and Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Ecole Normale Supérieure, L'Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6.


Ten thirty pm Sunday 30th September 2012 saw me at Jomo Kenyatta Airport-Nairobi enroute to Charles De Gaulle Airport-Paris. The instructions given were very clear and the reception and subsequent accommodation by CAMPUS FRANCE was superb. Paris was to be my home-away-from-home for three scientifically as well as culturally illuminating busy months.

Moving around the city is made easy by the use of the internet and maps with well addressed streets. Supermarkets as well as regular open-markets are available. On schedule subway trains as well as buses are the order of the day and night. Once I got the rhythm of things, I would prepare breakfast and clad in snug attire, briskly saunter from the hotel room to the subway train station. The rest of the mostly cold and windy day would be spent in the laboratory working in consultation with my co-supervisor with a lunch break at the CROUS cafeteria.

Unlike in Nairobi, walking on the Paris pavements you come across dog “dung” left behind by a variety of dogs out on a walk with their owners. This usually necessitates the frequent washing of roads and adjacent pavements by the concerned people if not by the frontal rains. Indeed Paris is a clean city bustling with busy but friendly people who don’t look over their shoulders when in need to express their feelings and where a meal is usually accompanied with a glass of wine if not very strong coffee. Things here are so intriguing I found myself missing going out though I couldn’t due to demanding work and a tight budget.

The monotony of scientific work in the laboratory is broken by an intermittent scientific workshop and an equally scientific dinner. No wonder-even though making great strides in my work- I was missing the crowing of the cocks, the cackling of the hens, the singing of the birds, … , in my farm.

Talking of international workshops and dinner, this is where I met many people for the first time some of whose work I had encountered in famous journals. I could not resist conversing, collecting business cards and exchanging email addresses with them.

Usually, chances of getting a scholarship or of studying in France will permit one to do research in a more conducive environment, to get more knowledge and enough exposure to the current trends of research in their area, and as a consequence also benefit from the many collaborations and partnerships formed along the way. Preparation for any trip however tedious commences in your mind.