The Adventure

The Adventure: For ten weeks from June until the end of August, I will be working with Village Life Outreach Project in the surrounding villages of Shirati, Tanzania. VLOP works on health, education, and life enhancing initiatives for the people of the Rorya district of northern Tanzania. To check out all the great projects VLOP has, go to

From the end of September until the end of the year, I will be completing my final (Capstone) project for the Clinton School in Lima, Peru. I am working with Minga Peru, an NGO that works with women, children, and entire communities in the Peruvian Amazon to increase awareness of health issues, reduce violence, train women in leadership and health information, and build communities through the empowerment of women, income-generation projects, and establishing of municipal partnerships. For more information about Minga, go

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 1 and the Wine Exposition

My first week in Lima is complete.  There's nothing too exciting about my day-to-day life so far.  The Minga office is about a 30 minute commute from my house: 5 minutes to the bus, 20 minutes on the bus, then another 5 minutes walking.  For curiosity's sake I walked on Thursday and Friday and it's about 50 minutes walking and great sightseeing.  Miraflores is basically the South Beach of Lima; very touristy, upscale, on the coast, and there are casinos EVERYWHERE.  Beside the fact that everyone speaks Spanish rather than English, it feels like an American city.

No one shows up to the office until 10:30 or 11am, so my typical day involves waking up at 8am (my body is trained well), running, breakfast and catching the news on CNN or CNN en espanol.  Since we come in so late in the morning, I generally leave the office around 7:30 or 8pm.  I have my desk in my own office room with a nice big window.  The neighborhood of the office is very bougie and reminds me of Florida in the 70s (just a little different from my office space with Village Life).  I have to admit I prefer the open air of the Roche office, but this experience will be good training for having a real 40 hour/week office job.  My coworkers are wonderful, one of whom (Noemi) is 27 years old and very eager to introduce me to Lima.

Yesterday, I went with Noemi and some of her friends to the Lima Wine and Pisco Expo.  I was expecting a modest neighborhood street festival; I couldn't have been farther off.  The Expo was held at the Chorrillo fairgrounds and was HUGE! Over a hundred vendors from around the region providing free tastes of all of their wines, dancers showing off their salsa and tango skills, and great music. 

Next door was the Pisco tent with about 20 pisco vendors.  -Pisco is a Peruvian alcohol that is similar to a tequila, used with sweet and sour drinks or simply taken as a shot. Pisco Sour is a sort of national drink, with lime juice, egg whites, and bitters...sooo good!- There are multiple types of Pisco: Acholado, Quebranta, Torontel, Italia, Mosto Verde (the premium), each with their own purpose...for mixing, shooting, sipping, etc.  Great first cultural experience in Lima!

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