My name is Serge Dzo Mawuefa AFENYIVEH, Ph.D student in Physics and Applications at University of Kara, Togo.
The first (1st) edition of the German - West African conference on the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems (SusRES) virtually held the 1st July 2020 due to COVID 19 sanitary issues, was the fruit of a cooperation between the Technical University of Applied Sciences (TH-Wildau) in Germany and the University of Kara in Togo, all put in the framework of the "Haw international " program conceived by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). At the end of this conference attended by twenty-six (26) scientists all over the world and after the presentation of sixteen (16) contributions, I was given, as the young researcher with the best contribution, the opportunity to conduct my first scientific researches out of the african continent, more precisely in Germany.
Arrival and first impressions
I landed at the Berlin Brandenburg airport on the 2nd August, where I was welcomed by Ron, who helped me to settle in my apartment, got me some food and took me out for dinner at 20PM. On that first day, I discovered the surroundings of Niederhelme and Wilau. The first week of the stay was devoted to the town's discovery. I was presented to the research team the 2nd day. In the following week, I was accompanied by Ron to the international office for accommodation formalities.
German food and togolese food are worlds apart. However, I was quickly seduced by the turkish döner kebab, chicken nuggets and fried potatoes. I also had the opportunity to taste local specialities every monday during our research team group lunch. At some point, I became the specialist of german food among my african colleagues, who just couldn't order food in the restaurant without me being there to advise them ☺. I also tasted many drinks we don't have in Togo.
During three (03) months, I worked with the ic3@smart research team of TH-Wildau. The work was about programming a robot for objects detection, which allowed me to learn many things about computer vision, deep learning and generally about artificial intelligence.
With the team, we had very relaxing moments like barbecues and the "Wildauer Solarboot regatta" which is a sailing boats competition between Germany, Hungary and Poland. The teams I supported were obviously Floki and SunCatcher from TH Wildau. I also had the good luck to make a trip to the new Tesla factory, the Mauer Park and many other wonderful places in Hamburg and Berlin.
This trip an unforgettable one thanks to the people I have encountered. I want to thank them for these wonderful moments.
M. Simon Devos-Chernova and Mrs. Carolina Winkler of international Office for welcoming me so warmly.
The cheerful Mrs Daniela Schultz, my german teacher, a very jovial lady who wrote to me even after each sitting to thank for the participation in the course.
Sebastian who initiated me to robotics as well as Dominic, Frank, Constantine and Norman.
Prof. Dr. Ulrike TIPPE, the President of TH-Wildau whom I encountered at the Solarboat Regatta.
To Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog thanks to whom I was able to visit Pure Power Biogas GmbH & Co KG, a company producing energy from biogas.
Mateus who helped me a lot in my researches, also Bastian who made me discover the "Spielplatz Markplatz".
Tom, who initiated me to the Doner Kebab and also took me to his house. I met his Dad who made me discover the remains of the DDR where I played darts (and I was quite good at this... ☺). Thank you for all.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Reiff-Stephan, the Vice President and head of the research team, who provided me with a bicycle for my moves and who kindly associated me to the organization of the SolarBoat Regatta 2021.
To my friend Alexander, my office mate, the one I spent all the days with, thank you for teaching me so many things.
I can't finish without thanking the one we called "our Dad", Ron the chief deputy of the research team. A very organized and hardworking man who, in spite of his numerous tasks, came often to guide me through my researches. All my thanks to you, Ron.
You could wonder if Germans are all nice people. I can assure you that the ones I encountered are all nice people.
Thank you a lot, guys. I already miss you all and hope we meet again very soon.