My Day as an Intern

7:13 a.m. – I am the first to arrive at our office which is on the 5th floor. Damn! The windows are open and it’s so cold. I quickly close the windows which have been left open by the cleaners. I just don’t understand why they have to open the windows on such a cold morning.

7:15 a.m. – I switch on the computer and quickly check for any new mail. I have developed a habit of checking my mail first before embarking on any other task because at times it gets very busy here. I am in the process of applying for different job opportunities because my internship is only for three months. So I subscribed to a website called My African Career, which has a portfolio of different job vacancies. I am drawn out to a particular vacancy for a Programme Coordinator for an NGO based in Somalia. Hmmm…I am tempted to apply but the thought of working in Mogadishu amidst the recent increase in shelling and attacks from Al Shabaab is scary. But this vacancy has an attractive remuneration, kwanza one is paid in U.S Dollars.

8:16 a.m. – I decide to head to the front office to see if I can grab a cup of tea. I am so thankful that we are given tea at the office, otherwise this cold will kill us. As I take tea with the other two officers our Balozi (Ambassador) informs us that there is an East African Community (EAC) meeting that he would like one of the officers to attend. He suggests that I should also accompany the officer. I am super excited about this since it’s another opportunity for me to learn more about EAC issues. Last week I had a great privilege of attending an EAC Conference on Promotion of Good Governance and Regional Integration at Hilton Hotel. The meeting that we were to attend today is a Review on the Integration of Rwanda and Burundi into EAC as Partner States. That’s sound pretty interesting. The Balozi goes out shortly.

9:12 a.m. – Oops!! The Balozi is back again and he is surprised we haven’t left yet for the meeting. We hurriedly finish our tea and head hurriedly to Hilton Hotel for the meeting. On reaching there we learn that the meeting venue has been changed to Heron Hotel. We totally have no clue where this hotel is located, so we make inquiries from the reception. Now how do we get there in like five minutes since we are way too late? After a few calls back and forth to our office, the officer I was with decides to take his car instead of us heading back to the Ministry and requisitioning for an official Ministry car which would take for ever. We learn that Heron Hotel is just next to the Integrity Centre at Upper Hill and it would take us about ten-fifteen minutes to be there. We pray and hope that there is no traffic jam kwanza given that its a Monday and this is Nairobi!!

9:57 a.m. – Lucky for us there is no traffic and we get there within 15 minutes where we find that the meeting has not yet started. We are ushered in by a lovely lady and are assigned some seats very close to the Deputy Secretary General (DSG) of EAC. Yikes!! What a great privilege. I hate arriving late for meetings because it makes me so nervous. Everyone is looking at us and the room is all quiet apart from Madam DSG who is talking on the phone.

10:00 a.m – Someone comes over and talks to the officer I was with. After they are done he tells me to step outside the conference room with him. He informs me that due to limitation in seating arrangements, the secretariat can only accommodate one officer per organization. I am instructed to head back to the office and he would brief me on the outcome of the meeting. What a bomber!! I was looking forward to being part of such a strategic meeting.

10:30 a.m. – Getting back at the office I am requested to sit at the front office desk since the other two officers have a meeting to attend and some errands to run. This week has been crazy. Everyone is running up and down in preparation for the arrival of dignitaries who have been invited to attend Kenya’s Big Party of the Year (promulgation of Kenya’s Constitution) come this Friday the 27th. I volunteer to begin working on drafting a report for last week’s conference. I didn’t jua that I was setting my self up for some brain cracking exercise. I learn I have to summarize a 10 page report to a 3 paged report. I love challenges so I dig in.

11:24 a.m – I get a text from a buddy of mine from Nax and I am informed there is a get together after 5 to catch up. What great news! At least I have a plot to look forward to after work and its been a while since I saw my buddies from Nax.

12:45 p.m. – I call Joash and Milka (fellow interns) to check out if they are going out for lunch but they inform me that they are rain checking on lunch because they have lot’s of work and deadlines to beat. I guess I will be going out for lunch all alone. I always enjoy going out for lunch becaues at least I get a chance to stretch my legs and also catch up with the other interns.

1:20 p.m. – Okay, I am supposed to be headed out for lunch by now but I am all alone at the office and I can’t leave. Luckily Balozi comes back to the office with another colleague and tells me that I can go for lunch. I usually have a one hour lunch break from 1-2 p.m. so this means I have to hurry up given that I am the only one at the front office. I decide to go to a nearby fast food restaurant for some fries. I know I shouldn’t be eating me some fries but given I only have kidogo time, it would be prudent to have the fries.

2:11 p.m. – When I come back to the office, I meet the other two officers are back from their meeting and errands. So I choose to go to my desk and catch up on some news from BBC and Newyork Times over the net. I love keeping my self updated on global issues.

3:20 p.m – I am called to the front office to do photocopies of some documents and letters. I head to the ICT office where we usually do the photocopies.

4:40 p.m. – I am at the front office desk manning the telephone and answering phone calls. Oops I just dropped a call. I haven’t yet figured out how to transfer a call to the deputy boss’ office. I feel so embarrassed. I hope the person on the other end will call again so that I apologize. Luckily they do call back and I manage to give them the direct extension line for them to call instead of me transferring them.

5:00 p.m. – Time to head out. It’s been quite a day! I have to hurry becaues my buddies are already at the place where we are supposed to meet. I inform my supervisor that I am done for the day and I wish her a good evening. Can’t wait to catch up with my buddies.

(Currently interning at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attached to the East Africa Community Affairs Division)


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. angela akaranga
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 12:22:38

    good stuff balozi and i totally relate about not being able to transfer calls, one time it was a call form paris and i ddint know how to transfer it. luckily the called back
    p.s. i think the call was from madam ambassador, our former lecturer!


  2. bonneytunya
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 21:47:33

    dude i like the way posts are flowing in your blog,keep writing and we will keep reading.honestly this is good hard work!!


  3. Rufus Karanja
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 04:33:27

    @Bonney…thanks sana bro for the encouragement…I thought it would be good to chronicle my life experiences and the dreams within…thanks for taking time to read it…


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