Who? Imke van Asseldonk, MSc Environmental Science
What? Did a seven month internship and research at the World Fish Centre, an NGO and research institute
Where? Dhaka, Bangladesh
My internship consisted of helping with a study of the different levels of fish consumption in the rural and urban populations of Bangladesh. We looked at the trend towards farmed fish rather than wild-caught fish. I was given a database and worked a lot with Excel and on making graphs. That is something you can do in the Netherlands too. Boring, really.
After the internship I did research for my MSc thesis. I looked at the development of pangasius fish farming in two villages since pangasius was introduced into the region at the beginning of 2002. My focus lay mainly on the impact on land use and the livelihoods of rural households. I was allowed to do field work and it was no longer a nine-to-five office job. That gave me a chance to get to know another side of Bangladesh: the countryside. The people were incredibly interested in me; I was invited everywhere and was offered food all the time, even during Ramadan. In the Netherlands everyone has a much bigger social circle, whereas there it is small and very close. I miss that now I am back here.'