MEDA Blog - Stories from the Field

Primer mes in Lima, Peru - First Impressions

CLOUDY. There is no sight of the sun..ANYWHERE!! During this past month, I have only seen the sun 3 times in total. There is a blanket of clouds that extends across the Lima skies during the winter time. The cloudy skies have even made an impression on Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, who referred to Lima as, "the saddest city on earth."

Pictured left: View from my bedroom -- This is what Lima looks at 9am, at noon and at 5pm.

I would not go to the extent to calling it the saddest city, however not seeing the sun has been THE hardest adjustment thus far. Some Peruvians have reassured me that spring should be just around the corner.

TECHNO-LINKS. I am currently working as the value chain development intern supporting MEDA's (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) Techno-Links project. In a nutshell, Techno-Links is a competitive matching grant fund promoting and expanding the access of agricultural technologies for small-size producers in Peru and Nicaragua. It is an exciting and busy time for us here in Lima, as the 16 winners of the grants will be announced shortly!

Pictured right: My cozy office at the Techno-Links office in Peru

Did I mention that I live in the same building as the office? Just 5 floors away! It makes a huge difference, especially those working days that go from 9 am to 7ish.

SECURITY. Another advantage is security. I do not have to take public transportation carrying my laptop and allows me to stay a bit later at work, when needed. However, one should not be too confident. Last week, I had a minor security incident. After work, a security guard followed me to my apartment and began an extremely inappropriate conversation. Thankfully, I received full support and guidance from the MEDA staff and the appropriate actions were taken in response.

I share this story because I want to encourage all my fellow intern colleagues to please report any security incident, even as small as you may considered it to be. As Jennifer (MEDA HR) told me, even if you are physically OK, any incident could also have a psychological impact. As a result, if something happens to you, please talk to someone about it.

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