Another way in which this internship in India has uniquely complemented my formal education at Cornell is by learning about funding in the NGO world. Funding is almost never talked about in class readings or discussion, and it is no doubt one of the most vital parts of these development activities. Embedding with WorldFish through TCI and the CALS Global Fellows Program has helped me develop a better understanding of the sources of funding, the mandates that come with this funding and the politics of securing funding. Although perhaps not the most glamorous part of development work, understanding these processes are vital for project design and management.
Finally, I see this internship is helping me to develop my research and data collection skills in tangible way. In my first two weeks at the WorldFish office, I finished designing my own report and will soon be going out and collecting data in the field.
After a few weeks in India, the heat has become a little less oppressive. However, it is still incredibly hot. Thankfully, most places like work, my accommodation and most cars are air-conditioned.
I can now say that I have had Indian food everyday for the past month, which is something that I never thought I would be able to say. A great accomplishment. I have really enjoyed trying different types of Indian food from breakfast foods to desserts to little snacks.
One activity I have particularly enjoyed participating in is watching cricket. This summer, the Cricket World Cup was going on in England and India played well. Watching the games has been lot of fun (especially the heated India-Pakistan match).
I have really enjoyed my time here and I am excited to see what the next month of fieldwork will bring.
By Axel Letondot
Axel Letondot is a rising senior at Cornell University studying International Agriculture and Rural Development. This summer, thanks to the Tata-Cornell Institute and in collaboration with the CALS Global Fellows Program, he is working in India on improving the nutritious content of government feeding programs. Axel is passionate about economic development and food security; after graduating, he hopes to work with an international organization addressing these issues.