Paul Ravensbergen Study: BSc International Land and Water Management. Destination: Mexico. Internship. Hola! I am Paul Ravensbergen and on this page you will find my stories about my internship in Mexico. Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Google Linkedin Email Introduction Hola! I am Paul Ravensbergen. I am a third years student of Wageningen UR and this Thursday, the 7th of August, I will leave the Netherlands for 4.5 months to head for Mexico to do my internship there. You might think, huh? An internship? As third years (bachelor) student? For my study, international land and water management, it is obligatory to already do an internship in the bachelor in order to get more international experience. So that’s why I and a lot of other study mates (maybe they are WURldexplorers as well) fly to different countries to work with themes as drip-irrigation, gully erosion, rain water harvesting, agroforestry systems or as in my case soil-plant relations. Being flexible During my study International Land and Water Management a lot of teachers learned us to be flexible while being abroad to be able to cope with unexpected situations. They often said things like: always expect the unexpected! And indeed, it is exactly like that. I was not more than an hour in San Fransisco de Campeche and already two things were different than I expected beforehand in the Netherlands. Rain! You might be complaining of all the bad weather in the Netherlands of the last week, but although it might have been more cloudy in the Netherlands than in Mexico I think I had a lot more rain here in Mexico. Now I am here for just 6 days, but of these six it became wet four times. And when it rains of course it is not a gentle drizzle as sometimes in the Netherlands. No, there are heavy storms. Storms as you can see coming on the picture. Compost As you could have read in my first story in which I introduced myself, my internship is all about compost, growing medicinal plants and this all happens within the research institute Ecosur and in some schools in Campeche. Now it is Thursday, which means I am in Ecosur for almost two weeks and that makes me able to tell you more about the project. My project will be very roughly two months of making compost, two months of growing plants and if the experiments go well at the end two more weeks for travelling and visiting other projects. The last two things are only just far away, so now I am going to tell you everything about my compost. Uxmal There it is: The first Mayan city. This movie shows you a very special moment in Uxmal. Last Saturday I woke up at 5 to take a bus at 6 in order that I could be the first and only one in the old Mayan city. And so I was. When I entered I immediately walked to the back to climb a temple of which my guide said it would give a nice view. Birthday I am almost a month in Mexico now and luckily, but also a little bit less luckily, time is flying by until now. Luckily because it means that I am enjoying the place, but less luckily because it means that I have just a little bit more than three months here. One of the things that is important for me to enjoy the place where I am staying is meeting nice people to spend the time with. Last week was certainly a prove of it. Compost part 2 I have so many things I can write a story about that it was difficult to choose one. However, since it is quite a while since I wrote something about my internship I will write about that again. In my story ‘compost’ I wrote about the fact that the temperature in the compost heaps was a little bit too low. Very sadly it still is the case that the temperatures didn’t get higher than 50oC. This could have different causes. I think the main cause is that ratio of the type of ingredients we used is not completely right. Couch surfing! Again I’ve done so many things to tell you about since I wrote my last story that it is just difficult to choose the topic of my next story. But then I realised that kind of the main theme of the last two weeks was ‘couch surfing’. Therefore I will share my experiences with you about this amazing concept. Mennonites After more than a month I finally have a new story. That I didn’t write anything was absolutely not because it was a boring and not interesting period to write about, no it was a very exciting month. In this month, I came a lot further in my research. Especially because the last month was the month in which I finished my compost (just in time :) ) and started with doing my plant experiments. Besides that, I also started teaching how to make compost in another school in the countryside. The best part of this school is that I am doing that with 6 out of 9 classes, so it is basically a whole school is busy with making organic fertilizer. Food and Death Because I couldn’t come up with a nice introduction for this story, I will start with explaining you what you see on the picture. You probably do not recognise it, but the most important thing you see on the picture is one of the basic necessities of life: food. Calakmul Sometimes blogging is actually more difficult than I thought in advance. In some occasions the writing is difficult. I don’t know for example how to start my story or how to keep it interesting (I hope I succeeded in that in my other stories). This time it is actually totally different. I have enough ideas for writing my story, but I had some difficulties with choosing my picture. I just did too many nice things last weekend for one short story. I could for example post a picture of me in a zip-line 60 m above a cenote, but that would make you so jealous that I didn’t dare to use that picture. I could also post a picture of our goal and final destination of last weekend: the absolutely stunning tropical forest and ruins of Calakmul. But as I said, I don’t want to make you too jealous so that is why I chose this rather vague picture which shows you something that was absolutely amazing. Home And then suddenly it felt very cold on my face on the 10th of December. Reading this sentence and the title you would probably think that I was back in the Netherlands by then. Fortunately for me I was still in Mexico.