Nicole and I have now been in Lima for a week and we are really enjoying the city, the TechnoServe office and the TechnoServe staff. The TechnoServe office has very talented individuals and most of them have studied in the United States. Andrei, Regional Director, Latin America & Caribbean, TechnoServe, spent a few years working in London. He says he misses the city and the British weather.

Our project on developing a supplier based financing mechanism for the provision of fertilizers to farmers in Peru is going very slowly and we are making small progress. The pace is very different from PIMCO and you need to adapt to the environment. It is very important to first understand the fertilizer products, distributors and cost; we’ve started to research fertilizer importers and manufacturers.

I had an interview with the senior management at Yara, one of Peru’s largest players in fertilizer production. They were very interested in our project.

On Saturday we drove approximately 500 miles roundtrip to Ica and met one of the small producers of MagnoCal (Magnesium and Calcium). We visited the factory in the morning. In the afternoon Victor, head of TechnoServe Peru’s office, took us to an old Pisco vineyard which was severely damaged by the 2007 earthquake. Pisco is like brandy and was planted near Ica in the 1550 using vines brought by the Spanish conquistadores.

Victor also took us to Huacachina, an Oasis in the desert with huge sand dunes. The desert has its own appeal; dunes whipped into peaks by strong wind attract sand boarders and dune buggy riders. The spectacle was amazing.

Sunday was our only day off, and I did some running on El Malecon, which is a paved area with parks overlooking the sea. I also visited the Miraflores District, Lima’s prosperous commercial hub and the city’s highest concentration of cafes and restaurant.

Tonight I am flying to Tarapoto, located on the edge of the Amazon Basin. My stay in Lima partaking of the city’s delicious fish and seafood is over. I will finally meet farmers in the coffee and cocoa production bordering the jungle.

The Volunteer

Alain Mandy

SVP, Shareholder Services & Funds Administration

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