My Mozambican Experience by Rauna Shikomba

As a member of AIESEC Poly telling people to go on internships and get out of their comfort zones, I told my mother to start saving up too just so that I get an experience of my own. I decided to go to Mozambique because I wanted something challenging as people there hardly speak English and that I met AIESEC UEM’s project requirements. That’s how I applied for administration assistant at Kutenga an NGO in Maputo.

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I loved the fact that AIESEC Mozambique was so welcoming, friendly and made me feel at home. What surprised me most is that their parties start very late that’s mostly at 23:00 or even if it’s not a party you never go out early. There was then a concept of “we are always late “that we made most of them drop the mentality as it came to a point that you would be late for work.

 I did not start as soon as I arrived as the first week, some issues were being resolved. When I started, it was quite challenging as I did not have a translator and communicating in Portuguese was a little hard. I was very disappointed when I found out the NGO had to close and that I had to switch projects. I felt that AIESEC UEM should have kept in touch with the NGO and planned better before advertising the opportunity and having us travel there. It felt like AIESEC Mozambique has more concerns on bringing in many people than providing quality internships.

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My new project was Impact weeks; with other interns, we had to raise funds and organize a fair for the kids that another group of interns taught English at the end of our experience. The first day was great as we went door to door telling the parents to allow their kids to come to the school so we teach them English and they where helping us speak Portuguese as they saw we did not know.

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The internship has taught me to be patient and deal with different kind of people as we had some that did not know how to work in a team and did not know how to value other people’s opinions. It has taught me that communication is very important and that you don’t have to know the language one is speaking to communicate or hear what they say, it takes effort and patience too. I also met some really great people that I now consider as friends.

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 The internship also taught me to appreciate home more. It taught me how to value what I have more. My chapa (minibus, most common transport medium in Maputo) moments  has taught me to value our taxis at home because a chapa can never be too full.

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These internships will show you how strong you really are and will help you discover things about yourself that you never knew of or things that you did not know you are able to do. You will also learn how other people do things as well as their culture. I attended a traditional wedding and it was very fun and entertaining. I had the time of my life helping organize a Christmas party for the kids at VGV NGO. It was such a success; the kids, I and my colleagues had a great time.

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