In honor of Vin Scully’s last game at Dodger Stadium yesterday, after 67 years in the broadcast booth: “As long as you live keep smiling, because it brightens everyone’s day.”

Peruvians don’t watch Dodger games, nor do they take any interest in baseball for that matter, but they do know this concept better than anyone. From the TechnoServe staff to the hotel receptionist that had to see me stumbling down the stairs early every morning half asleep, the people here always find a way to put a smile on their face and welcome you as one of their own.

Traveling back to Lima this weekend gave me an opportunity to reflect on all of the great experiences I have had in the central part of Peru the last two months. It has been great getting to know and work with Victor and the TechnoServe staff in Tingo María, Tarapoto, Juanjuí and Tocache, who had a wealth of wisdom to share about growing cacao and cultivating relationships with farmers in the region.

They are extremely knowledgeable and love what they do, physically evidenced by catching Angel taking a few bites of raw cacao behind the scenes a couple of times.

On one of our last weekends in Peru, I took the time to sit in the plaza of Tarapoto and watch life go by. The town is beautiful and the people are busy going about their lives. The impact TechnoServe is having here is apparent, as you can hear and feel the change that post eradication support is having on the community and economy.

Eric and I also spent one of our last weekends in Peru visiting the region of Amazonas, which contains the world’s third tallest waterfall and Indian ruins that date back to the sixth century A.D. Experiencing these sites was incredible, and made for another very adventurous weekend away.

In our last week in Peru, Eric and I are working on the presentations we are giving to Agrobanco and USAID on Wednesday and Thursday, respectfully. We are excited for the opportunity to share our research from the last two months and provide recommendations for sustainably expanding the program.

The Volunteer

Parker Werline

Associate, Client Facing

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