I did an internship for GTZ in Malawi in 1989. When I took the exam in Eschborn in 1988, they offered me various countries. I chose Malawi because I didn't even know the country, it was in Africa and I first had to look for the country on the map. That was exactly what I wanted.
When I flew in via Gabon to Lilongwe, Peter Stotz, the manager of the GTZ project MGLDP there, picked me up from the airport and allowed me to acclimatise with him. After three days we drove with the Landrover over runway and with my brand new motorcycle (125 cm3) to Mzuzu. There I was introduced to the ADD, with whom GTZ and their cattle breeding station Choma cooperated. I got one of the extension employees - Mr. Gondwe - as a translator. It was a lot of fun with him to visit around 100 farms in the Mzuzu area and to record data about the dairy herd. A very poor country, but psychologically very rich. Did not know who has it better: we with our wealth, but emotionally impoverished or the people in the villages.
After two months Gundi and Michael visited me, with whom I flew to Zimbabwe because we wanted to go to the national parks.
After the holidays I completed the study, got very deeply involved in Excel and lived with Roland Burowka (a biologist who worked for GTZ on biological control of manioc scale insects using a ichneumon fly). This was more practical than in the villages, where at some point everything is no longer so exciting. As a farewell I sponsored a big party in the villages: with crickets and millet beer. Michael was with me until the end. We still have a lot of fun with motorcycle tours in the Nyala National Parks, hikes in the Lake Nasser Malawi National Park and actions in Lilongwe and Nkata Bay. I cried when I had to leave this beautiful and friendly country. It was exactly the work I liked. I then wrote my business management diploma thesis at the Institute for Rural Development about this internship. She helped me to get the doors for a doctoral thesis about Sudan. I wrote the thesis in the summer of 1989 on the hayloft of Alp Schlanz in Switzerland, which was also just the right place for such a thesis. Drifting cows in the morning and evening, thinking about Africa with a computer on bales of hay during the day.