I can remember just how excited I was when I was awarded a full DAADscholarship for a “postgraduate course with relevance to developing countries” – a two-year Master’s program at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (CUAS).
Months before my flight I was counting the weeks and days left before flying to Germany. Now, almost three years later, I have finished my Master’s program and I’m back in my home country of Nicaragua.
Last December I left Germany to spend Christmas at home and to skip the winter – the latter is maybe the main reason I left for Nicaragua. My plan was to stay home for three months and then go back to Germany for a couple of more months where I would decide about job and studies opportunities (both in Nicaragua and Germany). During my stay in Nicaragua, besides having some family time, I also wanted to plan and organize a workshop to be held between the institute that supported me during my thesis, my university and the Nicaraguan ministry of environment. But, as you can deduce from the title of this blog entry, the plan underwent some changes.
Once I arrived in Nicaragua, a number of job opportunities appeared. To be more precise, the day after my arrival I received the first job offer. In the coming weeks I received two more. I decided to take the opportunity and stay to workin my homeland, the land I love. The offers, compared to what I thought I would get in Germany in the short-term, were very attractive in terms of professional experience. So, I decided to stay home and work here.
I have been working for a Nicaraguan environmental NGO for two months now. The job gives me the chance to keep working on a topic that has caught my attention in the last years: climate change. In this short time, I have already had the chance to attend an international conference in Nepal and I went back to Germany to attend a meeting of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change held in Bonn.
What was the negative part of this change of plan? As I didn’t plan to stay in Nicaragua, I hadn’t prepared myself to say “adiós” (goodbye in Spanish) to my great life experience in Germany and even more importantly, to those I love there. Last March, before I started working, I had the chance to say “hasta luego” (see you later) – yes, see you later and not goodbye, because I don’t want my connection with Germany to be over. But it was definitely hard. There are people in Cologne that I love, and I hope I will have the chance to share with them again as I did during the wonderful time I spent studying there.
In Nicaragua, as in many other countries, finding a job is not easy. I think my German experience has helped me a lot – it has given me the chance to work on something I’m interested in and with people from whom I can learn a lot. And it has given me the opportunity to contribute to my country and region, surrounded by my family.