When German housewives or househusbands expect visitors, they wash the curtains, vacuum and bake a cake. Well, it’s quite similar with the colleagues of Corporate Communications when a guest from Kenya is due to arrive very soon.

Although… in the last few months we had to do a lot of other things to prepare for the visit of “our” scholar Sophie Mbugua, who will arrive next Sunday. It all started with a search for partners in Africa and Germany in January, went on to a call for applications in February, then came the partnership with IJP and the selection of Sophie for the scholarship in early May. An endless number of emails and telephone calls! A lot of work to do.

Now, it’s time for the last preparations: Who will pick her up at the train station? Is the room we reserved for her at our guesthouse ok/comfortable? Where can we get a bicycle for her – and a map to make it easier for her to find her way to Forschungszentrum and back? And last but not least: What is she going to do during her two-week stay? Time for a timetable! Of course, she needs some time to meet people at the Institute of Agrosphere – they’ll meet again in November in Accra during the fall school and the hackathon Sophie is going to write about. She’ll also need some time to get to know us and our work at Corporate Communications/Forschungszentrum Jülich/Juwels/JuLab and so on…

And finally some free slots in the timetable – hopefully with time for her to enjoy her stay, for a coffee at one of the cafés near Jülich’s citadel watching people, for a visit to Aachen and the “Drielandenpunt” and a barbecue with colleagues.

So far, so good. Jülich is waiting for Sophie. And I’d better get home to bake a cake.

About Erhard Zeiss

Erhard Zeiss has been writer and editor in our press office since 2008.