What TTU students are doing in quarantine

SITUATIONS ARISING FROM PANDEMICS CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH ESPECIALLY EMOTIONALLY; BUT FROM THESE YOUNG ONES FROM TAITA TAVETA UNIVERSITY, WE LEARN THAT WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY.


You would all agree with me in one way or another, that as this year began, each one of us had one or two things that they had in mind and would have loved to accomplish before 2021 began. Even the craziest of sanguines who never have checklists for the year as the cholerics, definitely had a challenge they had posed to themselves that they wanted to achieve. Be it going for that road trip sometime during the year, hiking that mountain you’ve always wanted to climb or even going for that concert that you have waited for, for so long. For the students especially the finalists, the main goal was definitely to finish up their degrees, masters or PhDs and graduate then get employed or even have their own start-ups. For the undergraduate students, the first years were probably excited about their first long holiday in campus and were swearing of how they would be sleeping all day (this makes me laugh out loud…vitu kwa ground ni different). The second years who have learnt about a thing or two on earning money as a campus student, could not wait to search for jobs in all ways. And then the third years and fourth year engineering students were definitely the stressed out lot due to the endless search for attachments they would undergo later on after their second semester. The companies just don’t want to see attachment letters and all you get is regret emails. (Believe me, it can take a toll on someone). Last but not least, those who were chosen for the exchange program in Germany couldn’t wait for July; it just seemed so far away. These were just but a few of all the things that were going on in our minds as the year was beginning and giving birth to a new stage of our campus life.

But VOILA! Covid-19 happens! It throws each one of us off the balance and before we recover or realize it, floods come and sweep away our homes and food and we are left helpless and confused on the way forward. This is when you understand that it is not business as usual. Life was not going to be normal as we had hoped for in the beginning. We definitely had to go back to the drawing board and reconstruct everything. Some of the savings we had set aside would definitely find their way into our kitchens so as to sustain our families because of the loss of jobs for our parents. Some of our undergraduate degrees have to be on pause until the situation is under control and other things have to be canceled altogether because they can’t just work this year. In a nutshell, it’s a whole makeover of the laid down plans of 2020!

So with all these going on, I decided to check on my school mates and find out how they were fairing on and coping with the issues brought about by this pandemic. For all of them, creativity and flexibility have been the order of the day. Some of them have discovered skills and passions they never thought they had and are becoming better at it. This has helped them remain optimistic during this dire time.  For example, Terry Jepkogei, a fourth-year statistics student discovered that she could crotchet beautiful mats and cardigans and also do beaded work effortlessly.

What does the current predicament mean for them and basically what are they up to in the meantime?

 


FIFTH YEAR

Tell us your name, course and year of study

I am Edison Mwavuna Katana, a fifth year pursuing Mining and mineral processing Engineering.

 

Where are you currently residing? Is it in the rural or urban area?

I am at Bamburi in Mombasa County and it is an urban area.

 

What have you been engaging in during this period of staying at home?

I have been buried in art, learning new soft wares and doing singing practices.

One of the art pieces done by Edison during this period

 

What have been the challenges that you have faced during this period while at home?

Financial constraints especially in accessing my art tools.

 

What kind of thoughts have you had concerning your studies, future job?

I have been thinking about the online classes and the proper framework to be put in place to make it a success. I am also worried about my final project and how to complete it.

 

Do you have hope of this ending? If so, what do you hope for?

Yes I am hopeful. God will take us through it.

 

What have you learnt during this period?

I have learnt that life has ups and downs and thus, we just need to be prepared psychologically for all that comes our way.

 

Is there anything that you have discovered about yourself that you would love to change or be better at?

Haha this is an interesting one. I am a car enthusiast and my friends think my love for cars supersedes that one for human beings. So I want to prove them wrong after this pandemic. I want to date.

 

What message would you like to relay to your fellow colleagues in the same situation?

Take time and reflect on your life, build yourself spiritually and develop a skill to keep your mind occupied.

 

FOURTH YEAR

Tell us your name, course and year of study.

I am Emuria Emur, a fourth year, pursuing Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

 

Where are you currently residing? Is it in the rural or urban area?

I am currently residing at Katilu, Turkana South, in Turkana County and it is a rural area.

 

What have you been engaging in during this period of staying at home?

I have been farming at home and taking care of the cattle, sheep and goats.

 

What have been the challenges that you have faced during this period while at home?

First of all, the lack of network in this part of the country, then lack of electricity especially this time it has been flooding in our area. I think electricity is disconnected when it floods so as to avoid any accidents. So it has been a major challenge especially in the progress of my final project and studies at home.

 

What kind of thoughts have you had concerning your studies, future job?

I have had no worries concerning my studies whatsoever. We will just resume and finish up.

 

Do you have hope of this ending? If so, what do you hope for?

Ooh yes! I am hopeful all this will end and life will be back to normal. I believe I will still be able to accomplish what I had in mind before.

 

What have you learnt during this period?

I have learnt to be flexible and being able to do anything else apart from what I am pursuing as my career.

 

Is there anything that you have discovered about yourself that you would love to change or be better at?

I would want to be better in my IT field to the extent that I can develop systems that are going to be of benefit to my community. My community majorly deals with selling cattle, sheep and goats. Therefore having something that will make this easier and more profitable for them, will give me joy.

 

What message would you like to relay to your fellow colleagues in the same situation?

During this period, don’t just stay at home doing nothing, be innovative and develop something that will benefit you and others out here.

 

 

THIRD YEAR

Tell us your name, course and year of study

I am Dorothy Wawira Mugo, a third year pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Purchasing and Supplies.

 

Where are you currently residing? Is it in the rural or urban area?

I am at Siakago, Embu County and it is a rural area.

 

What have you been engaging in during this period of staying at home?

I have been doing agribusiness and writing i.e. creating content for an upcoming blog and trying to make spoken word videos to seize artistic opportunities.

 

What have been the challenges that you have faced during this period while at home?

With the lockdown in Nairobi, I can’t access the editor I wanted.

 

What kind of thoughts have you had concerning your studies, future job?

For me, my studies aren’t a worry right now because I am coming up with business ideas at home and making money. Actually I hope this takes longer (laughs) since I am feeling so sane and productive right now. We just need to open our eyes and see opportunities in front of us.

 

Do you have hope of this ending? If so, what do you hope for?

Yes! I am excited about tomorrow and I am hoping to grow as an agribusiness brand and increase my assets. I encourage myself by charging myself through books.

 

What have you learnt during this period?

There is a lot of potential in the rural areas since there are resources and opportunity and less expenses to incur.

 

Is there anything that you have discovered about yourself that you would love to change or be better at?

I want financial freedom; to be less dependent on family.

 

What message would you like to relay to your fellow colleagues in the same situation?

That they should search within themselves and understand who they are and do lie enthusiastically without having any excuses. Also, try risking with business ideas.

 

 

SECOND YEAR

Tell us your name, course and year of study.

I am Joyce Kiluti, a second year pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.

 

Where are you currently residing? Is it in the rural or urban area?

I am currently at Migwani in Kitui County and it is a rural area.

 

What have you been engaging in through this period of staying at home?

I have been learning a lot on art work and also been immersed in sort of poetic writing that is grounded on scriptures. Something I hadn’t realize I could do before.

 

What have been the challenges that you have faced during this period while at home?

I have not had enough time to do my personal work as in school due to house chores and other things that must be done at home.

 

What kind of thoughts have you had concerning your studies, future job?

I’ve got positive thoughts of me completing my studies and even having my own family later on.

 

Do you have hope of this ending? If so, what do you hope for?

I have hope and believe that I will achieve my goals and dreams.

 

What have you learnt during this period?

I have learnt something about family. That it is easy to love one another when you are far away from home but then, staying at home together is not easy and requires patience. And this is why we have seen cases of domestic violence rising during this period of staying at home.

 

Is there anything that you have discovered about yourself that you would love to change or be better at?

After all this, I would just love to do everything in determination and to live relentlessly.

 

What message would you like to relay to your fellow colleagues in the same situation?

I would encourage my colleagues to make use of every opportunity they lay their hands on during this period. That they should take time and reflect on their characters, attitudes and abilities and strive to make themselves better.

 

 

FIRST YEAR

Tell us your name, course and year of study.

I am Brian Murika Kachi, a first year, pursuing Bachelor’s degree in Education (science)

 

Where are you currently residing? Is it in the rural or urban area?

I am in Thika, a sub-urban area.

 

What have you been engaging in during this period of staying at home?

I have been engaging in lots of You Tubing, social media, Bible Study, sleeping and also helping my younger siblings in their schoolwork.

 

What have been the challenges that you have faced during this period while at home?

I haven’t faced great challenges really. It’s just that there are minimized movements and it’s sort of driving me insane.

 

What kind of thoughts have you had concerning your studies, future job?

I have generally had thoughts of how I can emerge from this situation having achieved something despite the limitations.

About my future aspirations, they are still intact. Just waiting for the pandemic to end so that I can pick up from where I left.

 

Do you have hope of this ending? If so, what do you hope for?

Yes, I do have hope. My hope is built on Christ and I believe we shall get through this.

 

What have you learnt during this period?

I have delved deeper into the Bible and I am learning a lot from it.

I am also learning a lot on poetry.

 

Is there anything that you have discovered about yourself that you would love to change or be better at?

I want to be better at reading and time management.

 

What message would you like to relay to your fellow colleagues in the same situation?

Not all is lost. Take this time to reshape yourself from within and aim to come out with something substantial that will prove that you did not waste your time.

Purpose to grow in all aspects including your relationship with your Maker.

 

 

Imelda Nasubo

Nasubo is a Mining Engineering student, A natural with words and is particularly passionate about, but not limited to adventure and travel reviews. The engineer in the making doesn't hesitate dropping her thoughts or reporting around campus life, while still at it.

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Imelda Nasubo

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