I really do not know if I should post about things like this but oh well.
I have decided to leave my internship a week and a half earlier than I was supposed to. Basically I decided that if I am going to learn about anything I want to learn about I am going to have to get out and conduct my own study project. Using the word ‘research’ is not allowed and requires approval from the government. I decided to try to contact other coffee exporters, NGOs, government bodies and the national export board to see if I could meet with them and talk coffee. My goal is to learn what it takes to access the outside markets and what resources are available to help those who need it.
I have to write a 15-20 page paper for my internship and unless I write about the differences between working for a company in America and working for one in Rwanda, I pretty much have nothing to go off of. I expected to learn so much more about the process during my 2.5 months here. By this point, I feel like I am wasting my time by being at my internship. I only have so many weeks left and I still have quite a few unanswered questions about the coffee industry here. I also do not see why I should spend my day sitting at a desk on facebook because they do not have anything for me to do/the things they want me to do I have not been prepared for when I could be out experiencing Rwanda. I would much rather spend my days exploring and really being in Rwanda than behind a desk.
For example, I got to work at 9am today and typed some answers to questions I had distributed to a group as a project that my boss wants me to implement. On a side note, this is a project that I know way too little about to be able to implement and no longer have the time to deal with it. This task took about 40 minutes to complete. As a result, for the past two hours I have been on facebook and blogging. Although I do really enjoy both of these activities, I also feel like I am wasting my last couple of weeks in Rwanda by doing so.
I have emailed a handful of people who I am interested in talking with and so far have had one interview with another exporting company. This interview in itself was possibly more enlightening than my two and a half months with my company. I got to cup coffee, learn about market basics and now probably know more about that company than my own. The person I interviewed was wonderful and extremely helpful. They gave me wonderful information and also totally understood my situation in wanting to learn more and having a hard time accessing information.
Today is my last day at my internship and I will hopefully be in contact with other people for interviews soon. If I do not get any responses to my emails I am going to start popping into the offices that I am interested in speaking with and beg them to give me some of their time. I also might actually start writing my paper. I am unsure what exactly it will be about. It mostly depends on how many people I get to talk to before this is all over.