Who? Ramona Langanki, MSc student of International Development Studies
What? Research on production chains for beans and maize
Where? South-east Nicaragua
Before my Master's research I spent two and a half months in Nicaragua with a friend, doing another study on a development project. That was very useful. I was an informant and I formed lots of contacts which came in handy for my Master's research. I also got to know key players in the area. In Nicaragua many things are tinged with politics so that it can be difficult to figure out the real message behind what someone is saying.
In my spare time I often went to women's fitness. Because of the nice atmosphere I did more sports there than I do in the Netherlands. And I gained a great respect for Nicaraguan women. A lot of men desert their wives, leaving them with their children and the need to earn a living. In the family I was staying with it was the other way round, though: the mother had left and an aunt was looking after the children. The father went looking for casual work and the aunt had a job. The social safety net is strong and that is lovely to see.'