I arrived in Lima very early in the morning on August 2. After a quick nap to recover from my overnight flight, I spent Sunday afternoon exploring Lima. Our hotel is on a large street called Salaverry that has a pedestrian and bike path that goes straight to the ocean. There are large bluffs in Lima similar to those in Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, and although it is winter here and the sky is always grey, the views are absolutely spectacular. Peru celebrated its independence day on July 28, and it is mandatory that all homes, business, restaurants, and schools display the Peruvian flag for the entire month of July. Although it is already early August, almost every building in the city still has a flag up.
Alain arrived very late Sunday night, so we met up for the first time on Monday morning and spent the day getting oriented. First, Andrei gave us a tour of the TechnoServe office and introduced us to the team. Everyone here is very welcoming and has impressive international experience. We then spent about two hours learning about TechnoServe's operations in Latin America and the Carribean, covering everything from the markets in which they operate to where they obtain most of their funding. Patricia from TechnoServe also gave us an overview of Lima, and provided us some excellent recommendations about restaurants we should try while we are here.
We spent the afternoon driving around Lima, and visited the Plaza de Armas and the San Francisco Cathedral. We went on a short tour of the Cathedral, which included a library with over 25,000 books from as early as the 16th century and also the catacombs. We also saw a painting of the Last Supper by Diego de la Puente, which features Peruvian staples like guinea pig and chilis instead of European dishes.
We wrapped up our tour of Lima with a drive along the coast and a delicious dinner at Osaka. Osaka is a Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant, and we tried three different types of ceviche as well as fish cooked on a hot stone. Tomorrow we will dive deeper into our project with Victor, the country director for TechnoServe in Peru. I am very excited to be here and am very much looking forward to this experience!