My Internship story in a Sustainable Cacao Project as a Gender Justice for 3 months in Bali, Indonesia
“To support this NGO as an intern, one shall enjoy and find pleasure with field work” Ana, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resource Management at EARTH University, Costa Rica
My first weeks and months interning at the NGO, challenging yet meaningful.
The initial week of my internship was very nice and interesting, my first day at the office I got mentored by Tya, she is very humble, kind and friendly, as are all the staff from the cooperative. We talked about how my work as an intern was going to look, our schedule , when to visit the farms and so on. The following three weeks were quite challenging as I created a three months work-plan prior to arriving in Bali for my internship. It turned out it did not go as planned, I had to recreate a new plan since the tasks I thought I was going to do since the first week were cancelled. A month later, I felt welcomed and comfortable with all the staff, people from the farms, my mentor and the other interns that were interning with the NGO the same time I was.
My tasks as an agronomy intern and my project with the women of the cooperative members in Jembrana village
As an Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources student, I was assigned to assist the NGO to work together with the local farmers in Jembrana, mainly cocoa farmers to see how the soil condition and where I can see my assistance would be needed. I worked on an organic fertilizer that could be used to improve the plantations to grow cacao. It took me about 7 to 8 weeks to do so. In the meantime, I also helped some of the school students in Negara, to learn how to use the soil analysis equipment that they had to do. I also tried to assist the women of the cooperative program to create a prototype of a face mask using Jembrana's soil, specifically clays that are really good for the skin. It is crucial to continue working on more piles to make more organic fertilizer because the project was done with only one family of the cooperative so that all the cacao plantations should have at least one pile to make the fertilizer. It would also be good to keep on working on the face mask, because even making and doing it, it shall have the right consistency, as the fact that it is made of clay makes it produce microorganisms. And to inhibit these microorganisms, it must have a natural preservative.
We did several tests on the mask making and we mixed the clay with cacao residues that are no longer used, with the intention of having an extra incoming for the members, the women of the cooperative in Jembrana.
My internship was a nice experience, specifically, in agronomy science, the fact that I had to recreate my work plan where I had to prepare everything in my first three weeks because the cooperative did not have my objectives clearly delivered was confusing at first, however, I think both of the parts (mentor and intern) need to have a clear understanding regarding each roles and tasks since the moment the internship is accepted.
To support this NGO, one shall enjoy and find pleasure with field work, I wouldn't recommend it for someone who is used to an urban life. Enjoy the internship experience especially within the local community, learn the culture, be humble and learn what the people are going to show you.