Exchange to Change Sept 2016 - Page 10

A day in the life of IOB Master student Sarah Vissers
the day a day in the life of an iob master student

Sarah Vissers , 25 , is from the

Netherlands . After a Bachelor in Communication Science and a Master in Political Science , she undertakes IOB ’ s Governance and Development program to delve further into topics that truly interest her , which are generally at the nexus between political science and development studies , and more specifically cover the social and political dynamics surrounding the extractive industries . Her interest in Sub-Saharan Africa , especially the Great Lakes region , has grown steadily over the past four years and strengthened with her internship at the Dutch Embassy in Rwanda ( from September 2013 to February 2014 ).
She decided to write her Master dissertation on the governance of oil in Uganda with a focus on manifestations of power surrounding oil infrastructure developments and social changes occurring in oil regions .
From June to late July 2016 Sarah carried out fieldwork in Western Uganda and the country ’ s capital , Kampala . An average day in the field consists of meetings and interviews with different types of actors involved – from public to private , from national to local , and from powerful to powerless . It did not take long for the very distinctive and sometimes incompatible stakes of these various actors to become apparent .
We asked her to write up an outline of a typical fieldwork day . First , she notes that

It ’ s not your average “ I don ’ t want to be inside anymore ” experience

A day in the life of IOB Master student Sarah Vissers

“ having a routine is nearly impossible here – you can agree on a time to meet , and you are lucky if people are only an hour late ! The best approach is to ambush people , I have learned . And I am not the one doing the ambushing : I have found that a well-connected local partner is absolutely vital here . Oh , where would I be if it wasn ’ t for my Hoima-based friend . Most people would not have been so responsive , I ’ m quite sure ”.
Days like these were so intense that I hardly had time to think about other things , like home . I did try to connect to my family on Skype twice a week , but Internet can be a bit unreliable ,

“ Having a routine is nearly impossible here .” especially outside of Kampala . Luckily I don ’ t tend to get homesick easily . I also used WhatsApp to stay connected to my family and friends . I sent them pictures and shared anecdotes about some of the nice , funny , or ridiculous things that happened to me that day .

An example was the mild culture shock that I went through when I first arrived in Hoima , the largest municipality in the oil region : it honestly felt like I was the first white person there in years . People thought I was a missionary . Everybody would stare at me as I walked down the street , and some whispered “ you ’ re welcome ”. At the supermarket a man in his mid-40s came up to me and said “ You look like that !” – pointing at an old white mannequin in the corner . How considerate . On another day I was surprised to see a massive camel on the road in the middle of town ( camels are not indigenous to the area ) which had amassed a following of kids . But as soon as the kids saw me they lost interest in the camel and flocked towards me , screaming “ MZUNGU !!!!” ( white person ). Seriously ?!
But I soon noticed that the local people were great actually , they do not take long to open up . People at the local NGO I was partnered with , and people at the hotel I stayed in , were very curious , talkative , and always willing to help . I think in the few weeks that I was in and around Hoima , I met one fellow “ mzungu ”, who was a PhD student at the University of Leeds . She was lovely . I had no interest in going out of my way to find more foreigners there , especially because I had been assured that most of them are deeply religious and very different from me . I was very happy to see and do as the locals do . It made me understand the people better , and it gave me an idea of the issues that are on their minds , like ethnicity . Such insights could contribute to my dissertation . Moreover , I was introduced to ‘ pork joints ’, where people share a giant plate and eat with their hands ! I would never have come up with that if it wasn ’ t for my local friends .
10 Exchange to change May 2016
the day a day in the life of an iob master student S arah Vissers, 25, is from the Netherlands. After a Bachelor in Communication Science and a Master in Political Science, she undertakes IOB’s Governance and Development program to delve further into topics that truly interest her, which are generally at the nexus between political science and development studies, and more specifically cover the social and political dynamics surrounding the extractive industries. Her interest in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Great Lakes region, has grown steadily over the past four years and strengthened with her internship at the Dutch Embassy in Rwanda (from September 2013 to February 2014). She decided to write her Master dissertation on the governance of oil in Uganda with a focus on manifestations of power surrounding oil infrastructure developments and social changes occurring in oil regions. From June to late July 2016 Sarah carried out fieldwork in Western Uganda and the country’s capital, Kampala. An average day in the field consists of meetings and interviews with different types of actors involved – from public to private, from national to local, and from powerful to powerless. It did not take long for the very distinctive and sometimes incompatible stakes of these various actors to become apparent. We asked her to write up an outline of a typical fieldwork day. First, she notes that 10 Exchange to change May 2016 It’s not your average “I don’t want to be inside anymore” experience A day in the life of IOB Master student Sarah Vissers “having a routine is nearly impossible here – you can agree on a time to meet, and you are lucky if people are only an hour late! The best approach is to ambush people, I have learned. And I am not the one doing the ambushing: I have found that a well-connected local partner is absolutely vital here. Oh, where would I be if it wasn’t for my Hoima-based friend. Most people would not have been so responsive, I’m quite sure”. Days like these were so intense that I hardly had time to think about other things, like home. I did try to connect to my family on Skype twice a week, but Internet can be a bit unreliable, especially outside of Kampala. Luckily I don’t tend to get homesick easily. I also used WhatsApp to stay connected to my family and friends. I sent them pictures and shared anecdotes about some of the nice, funny, or ridiculous things that happened to me that day. An example was the mild culture shock that I went through when I fi Ёɥٕ)!ѡɝЁչ䁥ѡ)ɕ聥Ёѱ䁙Ё$݅́ѡ)Ёݡєͽѡɔ啅̸A)ѡ՝Ё$݅́ͥ丁ٕ剽)ݽձхɔЁ́$݅ݸ)ѡɕаͽݡɕq׊eɔ)ݕtЁѡɵɭЁ()́́Ѽͅ+qeԁѡЇtLѥЁ)ݡєեѡɹȸ)!܁ͥɅє=ѡȁ$݅)ɥ͕Ѽ͕ͥٔѡ)ɽѡѽݸ́ɔ)Ё́Ѽѡɕݡ)͕ݥ̸ Ё́ͽ)́ѡ́ͅ܁ѡ䁱ЁѕɕЁѡ)ѽ݅ɑ͍́ɕ+q5iU9TtݡєͽMɥͱ) Ё$ͽѥѡЁѡ)ݕɔɕЁՅ䰁ѡ䁑Ёх)ѼAЁѡ9<$݅)ѹɕݥѠЁѡѕ$)х啐ݕɔٕ䁍ɥ̰)хѥٔ݅́ݥ)Ѽ$ѡѡ)ݕ́ѡЁ$݅́)ɽչ!$Ё)܃qչ׊tݡ)݅́AՑЁЁѡ)Uٕͥ䁽1̸M݅)ٕ丁$ѕɕЁ)Ё݅Ѽ)ɔɕ́ѡɔ䁉͔)$ɕѡЁЁѡ)ɔɕٕ́䁑ɕ)ɽ$ٕ݅́䁡Ѽ͕)́ѡ́%Ёչх)ѡѕȰЁٔ)ѡՕ́ѡЁɔѡȁ̰)ѡ丁MՍͥ́ձɥє)Ѽ䁑͕хѥ5ɕٕȰ$݅)ɽՍѼaɬϊdݡɔ)͡ɔЁєЁݥѠѡ)̄$ݽձٕȁٔݥѠ)ѡЁЁ݅ͻeЁȁ䁱ɥ̸(+q!٥ɽѥ)́ɱ)ͥɔt((0