On Tuesday morning, we meandered through Pwani University grounds heading towards the beat of animal hide drums. We glimpsed the finale of the Giriama dance, under a white and blue balloon arch, before scuttling into the large lecture hall, LTN.
The windows had been covered in red, blue and white drapes and ornamental flower displays adorned the stage. The microphone crackled into action as various speakers introduced and expanded on the celebration. Pwani University was being certified for the ISO 9001:2015 quality management award by Bureau Veritas and was now one of less than 5 universities in Kenya to receive such an award. The hard work and dedication of the staff, students and partners were praised and the certificate presented.
And this was not the end. Tuesday also marked the opening of a new molecular biology lab, the Pwani University Bioscience Research Centre or PUBReC for short. PUBReC is the result of a collaboration between KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme and Pwani University. After some short scientific talks, the congregation were led to the lab itself, the ribbon was cut, and students, staff and visitors entered to be greeted by eager masters students, PhD students and post docs showcasing the work that had been happening in PUBReC. Amongst the crowd visiting the new installation, there were a great number of amazed and proud undergraduate students. Everyone was hooked by the many scientific posters being presented and the first class facilities PUBReC has to offer.
From then there was one more important event – lunch. The table bowed under the weight of rice, ugali, chapati, cabbage, chicken, ribs and mchicha (the best spinach we’ve ever had). We shared lunch with a bunch of 4th year students and sat for many hours after it discussing life and fixing the world, we touched all topics you can imagine, from student life at Pwani University to whether extra-terrestrial life exists.
It was a wonderful day beautifully captured by a 3rd year biochemistry student who enjoyed the use of Ana’s camera!