When I came to Wageningen in the summer of 2012, I was happy that I had managed to escape the scorching sunny weather in Ghana. To my astonishment, my Dutch fellow students soon invited me to go outside with them to have our meeting… in the sun.
In Ghana, some people try to avoid the sun as though it was a disease. Others who can’t help it go about with umbrellas to create some shade. This is how I learned to deal with sunny days. You should have seen the surprise on my face in September 2012 when a Dutch colleague from an assignment group suggested that we sit outside in the sun and discuss our group work. I thought to myself, you must be totally crazy to even think that. But before this thought had completely registered in my mind, all the other four members of the group hopped out of their seats and headed for the sun. What was even more surprising was that many other student groups were sitting on the grass outside the Forum building, also basking in the sun!
Sun is a rare commodity in the Netherlands, and sunny days must be enjoyed
It didn’t take long before winter showed up, and I immediately understood why I was the crazy one in September and not everybody else in my assignment group! Sun is a rare commodity in the Netherlands, and like any rare commodity, the sunny days must be celebrated and enjoyed. This June, there are many sunny days, and as has now become the norm for me, I am usually the first to suggest that my colleagues join me for lunch in the sun.
Antwi-Boasiako Oteng, PhD candidate in Human Nutrition and Health, from Ghana
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NL: Buiten vergaderen
De zon? Die moet je in Ghana mijden als de pest. Antwi-Boasiako Oteng was dan ook dubbel blij toe hij kon gaan studeren in Nederland; zo kon hij ook een tijdje aan de verzengende hitte ontsnappen. Hij had echter buiten zijn Nederlandse medestudenten gerekend. Die namen hem in week één meteen mee naar buiten om te vergaderen, bakkend in de zomerzon. ‘Ze moeten helemaal gek zijn!’, dacht Antwi-Boasiako. Maanden later, in de winter, begon hij het te begrijpen. ‘De zon is een schaars goed hier; daar moet je van genieten.’