I can't believe my last week in Peru is already here!

I arrived in Lima on Sunday afternoon to a rare winter sunny sky after a whirlwind week in Tarapoto with my colleagues Gustavo, Drew, and Alain. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday driving around the San Martín region to take pictures with the TechnoServe team, which was also a good opportunity to ask follow-up questions of the farmers we visited. We were in the Moyobamba area on Tuesday and traveled to Sisa on Wednesday. The San Martín region is absolutely beautiful and I'm glad I've gotten to see so much of it, but honestly I won't miss the drive to Sisa. It is SO CURVY! I don't usually get motion sickness but that drive gets me every time.

We returned to the office on Wednesday afternoon and made huge strides in terms of project development. Gustavo arrived armed with a mountain of sticky notes, and we spent the afternoon writing down outstanding questions and outlining how we wanted our final presentation to progress. After a few hours of compiling thoughts and shuffling around color-coded sticky notes on our whiteboard, we were ready to present our plan and get feedback from Victor (the Country Director for TechnoServe Peru). Victor was very supportive of our plan and provided us with excellent guidance. At this point we have outlined everything we would like to accomplish and are working to cross things off the list.


On Friday night Emilio, who focuses on TechnoServe's media efforts in the San Martín region, invited us all to his house to watch the friendly soccer match between the U.S. and Peru. We had a great time watching the game and playing with his family’s two yorkies. I'm definitely NOT going to miss the unusually large and numerous bugs in Tarapoto, but I already miss the people there. Everyone from TechnoServe was so welcoming and willing to share their knowledge - we would not have been able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time if it weren't for their help and support.

I fly to Newport Beach at midnight on Friday, and until then I will be figuring out how to fit the giant box of Peruvian chocolate I bought into my suitcase. It feels good to be going home soon after such a wonderful and eye-opening experience.

The Volunteer

Nicole Holsted

Associate, Client Management

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