Itinerary

By Rob Whiting, May 19, 2009

Travel Itinerary

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BANGLADESH (DHAKA) – JULY 1—AUGUST 19
  • Interned with BRAC, one of the world’s largest development organizations, to carry out a pilot study on social capital through data collection and analysis in northern Bangladeshi villages
  • Performed interviews in Dhaka’s slums to better understand the basics of slum poverty, and designed and funded an investment scheme for a rickshaw puller to expand his business
CHINA (SHANGRI-LA, HONG KONG) – AUGUST 20—SEPTEMBER 30
  • As an intern for Ventures in Development, consulted for Mei Xiang Yak Cheese, a social business incubated by ViD, to help improve logistics, marketing, sales and other areas; visited the cheese factory and met suppliers, ethnic Tibetan yak herders
  • Investigated land rights of the poor through observing protests, interviewing residents, and background research
INDIA (PUNE, BANGALORE, BODH GAYA, MUMBAI) – OCTOBER 1—NOVEMEMBER 31
  • Volunteered for Ashraya Initiative for Children, a family-style orphanage focused on two de-notified tribes (Waghri and Sikligar Sikhs), to help them improve AIC’s health initiative by cataloging every family member in their target area
  • Surveyed residents of Pune, a technology hub, on the impact of the IT boom in their lives
  • Investigated Mumbai housing reform in Dharavi, one of the world’s largest slums, through interviews and background research
MOZAMBIQUE (MAPUTO, NAMPULA) – DECEMBER 1—MARCH 1, MARCH 18—JUNE 6
  • Implemented a socio-economic impact study of TechnoServe’s work on the poultry industry through meeting with industry leaders, researchers, rural poultry farmers, and soybean farmers (for poultry feed)
  • Carried out a feasibility study for USAID/CLUSA on the opportunity of soy foods, gathering market information and supporting poten-tial local entrepreneurs; as part of the study, visited Malawi to investigate experiences of established soy foods processors
SOUTH AFRICA (JOHANNESBURG, MPUMALANGA PROVINCE) – MARCH 2—MARCH 17, JULY 2—JULY 9
  • Lived in the slums of Soweto and Kliptown, interviewing and interacting with residents who were at the epicenter of the apartheid, and also visiting NGOs operating in the area
ZIMBABWE (HARARE, BULAWAYO, MUTARE) – JUNE 8—JULY 1
  • Researched the country’s rapid deterioration over the past decade through home-stays with both black and white farmers, many of whom had lost their farms; interviewed farmers, their families, and their farmhands, both employed and now unemployed
GHANA (ACCRA, KUMASI) – JULY 10—SEPTEMBER 30
  • Consulted for TechnoServe on several projects: food security proposal development for USAID, impact study on TechnoServe’s work in sorghum, data analysis to evaluate impacts of TechnoServe’s high-profile cocoa project, and a palm-oil market study
COTE D’IVOIRE (ABIDJAN, YAMOUSSOUKRO) – OCTOBER 1—OCTOBER 20
  • Traveled throughout the country, including the rebel north, to investigate the connections between democracy, ethnicity, and pov-erty, and how it has shaped the country’s recent collapse and affected its residents
  • Was involved in the election kickoff rally for the opposition presidential candidate, who has since become the President-elect
LIBERIA (GBANGA, MONROVIA) – OCTOBER 20—NOVEMBER 14
  • Joined a rice harvesting team of villagers and did other manual labor in a rural community for two weeks to better understand the lives of Liberian villagers and dynamics of agrarian life
  • Studied the effects of Liberia’s two devastating civil wars through various interviews (residents, politicians, NGO workers), sitting in on classes at the University of Liberia, desktop research
  • Volunteered with Innovations for Poverty Action to train a survey team of locals for one part of a conflict resolution study
UNITED STATES (WASHINGTON D.C., NEW YORK CITY) – NOVEMBER 15—NOVEMBER 25
  • Visited Harlem Children’s Zone to better understand their “cradle-to-career” approach
OTHER ACTIVITIES: (Bangladesh) Cox’s Bazar (beach); (China) hiked Tiger Leaping Gorge; (India) visited Buddha’s place of enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, Taj Mahal, Varanasi; (South Africa) World Cup game, safari in Kruger National Park, hitchhiked throughout Mpumalanga Province, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and trekking through ancient ruins; (Zimbabwe) bungee jumped at Victoria Falls; (Ghana) Elmina Castle, Kakum National Park, extensive travel throughout country; (Cote d’Ivoire) world’s largest basilica

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