I arrived in Lima early on August 5 (around 1am), and before I could take my first step outside of the airport doors to breathe the air of South America, I was immediately interrupted by ten taxi drivers shouting and tracing my footsteps, offering to take me to my hotel. Instead of choosing between all of them, I resorted to letting technology pick for me, and ordered an Uber. That would be the last of developed-world services that I would see for a while.

Having arrived in Lima a couple of days before our assignment would begin, I took the opportunity to travel to a few destinations in the southern part of Peru, including Huacachina (a desert oasis) and the Nazca Lines (large, ancient geoglyphics carved into the land). Before I could soak it all in, it was Sunday and time to be back in Lima, so I embarked on my 9-hour late-night bus.

On Monday morning, Eric and I met up at our hotel in Lima and went to the airport to catch our flight to Tingo María, where we will be spending the next three weeks. Tingo María is located in the northern part of Peru, where the famed Andes Mountain Range descends into the base of the Amazon jungle. It is a hot and humid climate, very different from that of Lima, which is laden with overcast skies throughout the winter.

I found myself staring out the window of our small propeller plane for a large portion of our flight, captivated by our ascent from the overcast skies of Lima, over the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, and down into the base of a lush jungle. The flight ended with a smooth landing on a grass runway, where Eric and I disembarked, retrieved our bags, and met Victor Ganoza, the Country Director of TechnoServe in Peru who we will be working closely with.

Victor took us to the TechnoServe offices in Tingo María, where we met staff and reviewed the scope of our project for the next few weeks. Eric and I have a lot to learn (including more Spanish) so we will get to it. De Tingo María, adíos!

The Volunteer

Parker Werline

Associate, Client Facing

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