The time has come and the end is upon us.
My last week at FAO was kind of busy. The workload in the office was light, but we had some big events. This year is the 70th anniversary of FAO and we had a video conference with all the other FAO offices in Latin America and the Caribbean. This call was long and fun and very festive. A lot of pride and thanks was expressed from many FAO members for the work that we do. And I totally agree; I have a great sense of pride for the work I’ve done in my short time here.
The following day (October 16) was Día Mundial de Alimentación, or the World Food Day, and the office went to a feria. At this feria, we had speeches from our own FAO Peru representative, someone from MIDIS and QW, there were farmers throughout different regions of Peru selling their produce, traditional dances and songs. It was a good time and I enjoyed being witness to this event.
The day after this, there was another DMA event in a neighborhood in Lima Provincia. The point of the event was to teach about food security. We had a booth along with all the ministries and other players in the community. At our booth, we had a roulette wheel with numbers 1-20, that corresponded with flash cards 1-20 each with a question about food security, hunger, agriculture in Peru, etc. We gave away information packets about food security, family farming, a work book for children, and a cook book to come lucky attendees. Again, there were more speeches, food, lots of information packets, and something for everyone in the family to learn. This was a community event, a family event, and a good opportunity to spread the message about food security.
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This was my last event and it was a fun way to go out. I have had an absolutely incredible time in Peru and am beyond thankful for this opportunity and the folks who helped me along the journey. I’ve learned a lot from my time in Peru, mostly about myself, but also about food security, creating a workshop, working with children, model building, and how truly important it is to think and act holistically to solve some of our most pressing problems. This was a fabulous internship and learning opportunity and I will say that I took advantage of it.
On a side note: In addition to learning as much as I could on the job, I also took advantage of the weekends and holidays to visit other parts of Peru. The weekend before I left, we had a 4 day weekend so I took my last adventure in the south of Peru to a city called Arequipa. In this region, there is the Cañon del Colca, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in some places. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon but I hear it’s quite impressive. Likewise, the Cañon del Colca was impressive and did not disappoint. Coming from Florida where it is very flat, this was maybe the hardest hike I’ve ever done. We went 1,300 meters (roughly 4,250 feet) one day and 1,300 meters back up the next day. It was intense. It was so beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a landscape like this before.
Peru is a beautiful country and a place I would definitely love to visit again in the future. This was my first trip to South America and it was everything I hoped it would be. From the food to the culture, traditions, landscapes, dances, handicrafts, and landmarks, it’s a remarkable country with a rich history. I had a wonderful time in all aspects, in the office, in the field, at the events, and around the country.