Since Monday, I am officially employed by HORIZONT3000, the Austrian Organisation for Development Co-operation. The upcoming seven weeks are dedicated to the first part of the preparation training for Technical Advisors which takes place in Vienna (while the second part is the so-called “in-country-preparation” in the respective countries abroad). We are a group of seven future Advisors – three of us going to Mozambique, three to Uganda and one to Tanzania – so we are a “purely African” group this year. HORIZONT3000 also carries out technical assistance programs in Nicaragua, Brasil and Papua New Guinea, but there are no participants for these regions in our group, and neither for the other African countries with HORIZONT3000-projects, Burkina Faso and South Sudan.
So what will my schedule look like for the next few weeks? The subjects and modules covered are very diverse: Intercultural Awareness, History and Challenges of Development Co-operation, Change Management, First Aid, and a drive safe training in a quarry in Upper Austria – and that’s just some examples. Besides, I will have about 20 hours of Portuguese language course, and on a voluntary basis, am entitled to take some classes in Krav Maga, an Israelian self-defense sytem based on several martial arts techniques. And then, there are some pleasant medical appointments waiting for me to certify that I am physically fit for the tropics plus my individual vaccination plan.
The training schedule is definitely very dense, but luckily, there is also quite some room for individual preparation, like doctor’s appointments, paperwork, personal administration and so on. In my case, that will probably mean even more Portuguese, and hopefully some time to pimp my PHP- and MySQL-skills. And just in case I still find a way to get bored, there is still my pending reading list of African literature that I kicked off well last summer, but that frankly suffered during the last months at my previous job.
BTW, HORIZONT3000 runs a very active blog, full of interesting stories about ongoing and upcoming projects, people “in the field” and other development co-operation topics (in German). Just saying 😉