Who? Natascha van den Bosch
What? Research into the relations between elephant poaching in African countries and the punishments meted out for it.
Why? To improve the way poaching is tackled.
'When I first arrived in Kenya I felt just like a tourist, and it was hard to get used to. At my work, people were terribly nice, and they did their best to make me feel at ease. But out on the streets you had to watch out. The police are very corrupt and they walk around with truncheons. As a woman you could not safely go out alone at night, and if you took a minibus to work you shouldn't have any valuables on you. To start with I lived with a Kenyan family, which had the advantage that I quickly picked up Kenyan manners and customs. But after a couple of months I wanted to be able to do my own thing again, so I moved in with some other interns.
'I was given a lot of particularly interesting assignments for my internship. For example, I helped to set up a workshop on optimizing the various methods of controlling and tracking down poachers. I was also allowed to attend the annual meeting of the advisory group of the MIKE programme, in which the progress made in the previous year was discussed, and field workers and data analyists gave interesting presentations. The best bit about this was that I have learned a lot and made some valuable contacts.