Just a few days until I fly to Lima, Peru.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. But I’m optimistic, too. I spent the last semester in the Netherlands and continued traveling Europe during the summer, and although I was incredibly nervous before that whole journey, it ended up being one of the best times of my life so far. It taught me that I can handle new places, new people, and new situations, as long as I go into them with an open mind.
A little bit about me: I am going into my 3rd year at Brandeis University, studying International & Global Studies. “What is that?” people often ask me. “Whatever you make of it,” I answer. Personally, I’m interested in human rights, development, social issues, and international organizations, so I try to take classes that teach me about those things. My aim is to work for an international non-governmental organization (NGO, or ONG in español), doing communications/publicity/marketing work. My last semester in The Hague, the seat of almost all of the international courts and tribunals, was an intensive study of international law. There, I had an internship at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a coalition of international NGOs.
I chose this IFSA-Butler program for similar reasons. I am excited to have the chance to work with a Peruvian NGO, and to learn about some international and national issues from a Peruvian perspective. The Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) has a carrera — their version of a major — called “Comunicación para el desarrollo” (Communication for Development), which is exactly what I’m interested in, so I will try to take classes in that subject. I also want to improve my Spanish.
I discovered, thanks to IFSA-Butler’s online community, that one of my high school classmates will be in the PUCP program with me! What are the chances of that, in a group of 20-something students from the entire US?! So the other night I had dinner with him and another friend of ours who just came back from a 6-week volunteering trip to Lima, and we discussed Peru. She showed us pictures and told us about some of her favorite places, foods, and general tips for living in Lima. It made this seem more real, that I’m actually going very soon to a new country, quite different from anywhere I’ve been before.
Another thing that you should know about me: I’m a foodie. I love to cook, bake, eat, and even read about food. I follow lots of food blogs, and I even have one of my own. So, of course, I am excited to taste the flavors of Peru! I am pescetarian, which means I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish and some seafood, so expect to see some great vegetarian and fish-based foods on this blog! I’ve already done some research on Peruvian cuisine, and it looks like they eat lots of great spicy sauces, lots of potatoes, rice, fish (ceviche!), delicious desserts, and tropical fruits! I can’t wait.
I’m counting down the days, gearing up for this new adventure. It won’t be long before I’m posting from my new home in Lima!