Honors Summer Snapshots: Lauren

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. Honors senior Lauren Suhi spent the summer regaling Ghanaians with her Dad Jokes and puns:

My name is Lauren Suhi and I’m a senior studying Environmental Science and Global Resource Systems with a minor in Sustainability. This summer, I ditched Iowa’s corn fields and flew to the cocoa fields of Ghana for an internship with Cargill.

Ghana is the second biggest producer of cocoa in the world! This picture is of dried cocoa beans. The beans must be processed before they becomes the delicious chocolate that we all love. This internship took my chocolate cravings to a whole new level.

 

I got to try my hand at harvesting some pods off a cocoa tree. I’m not Ghana lie, I’m surprised they let me handle a machete! One of Cargill’s sustainability programs is to help coach farmers on better practices and to develop their farms for maximum productivity.

 

All farmers are UTZ certified, and all farmers get inspected annually for good agricultural, social, and environmental practices. I got to observe and partake in the certification process and ask questions about the farms. The people in this picture are all cocoa farmers with Cargill on one of their cocoa farms.

 

A part of Cargill’s sustainability program is community development. Here is a picture of a women’s group that was formed in a community after discussing the needs of their community. Women’s groups are formed to empower women and help give them a voice in the community.

 

A part of Cargill’s community development is to also help build a school in each district they work in. This picture was taken shortly before I was tackled to the ground by kids super eager to get their photo taken.

 

The people of Ghana were extremely welcoming and nice to visitors, and I got a lot of things to try. For example, this coconut was given to me by a local farmer and was taken right off the palm tree. This fruit was so fresh, it drove me coco-nuts!

 

It was really cool throughout my time in Ghana to learn more about the livelihoods of the people in Ghana. While I spent most of my time with cocoa farmers, I got to visit a fishing village in Jamestown in Accra, the capital. It was a really cool to sea how people lived and compare it to other parts of the country.

 

My internship wasn’t all work, and I got to partake in some “monkey business.” One weekend, I visited a monkey sanctuary and got to hand feed some monkeys!

Overall, it was a great summer of learning, gaining work experience and discovering a new culture. But, I can’t wait to see what my adventure at Iowa State has for me in the fall when I return!

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