There is nowhere to go but up

August 2, 2019 | Brigitte, International Studies and Modern Languages, Uniterra, Peru IPES – Promoción del Desarrollo Sostenible- Sustainable Development and Communication Officer

I came to Peru with no expectations, and I believe that is why I have been so happy here. When you go in at 0, there is nowhere to go but up. I am devastated that I have to go home. I plan on relishing every moment of these last few weeks.

I am very happy here. My apartment in Miraflores is well located and comfortable, I have great friends and I can access all the services I usually would in Canada, for a much better price. Over the course of my time here, I have also been able to discover other parts of Peru. The jungle, the desert and the mountains all within a quick pane ride away. As wonderful as I find Lima, I enjoyed escaping the big city once in a while.

I have been working as a grant researcher for IPES, a local NGO that undertakes projects in environmental sustainability. Through my work, I found that finding funding opportunities is very difficult. I asked myself how I could become as efficient and productive as an amateur grant researcher and I began taking an online course to further my knowledge around this topic. From this useful training, I produced a guide that summarizes what I have learned, to help myself, my organization and future volunteers in this area.

Last week, I did a 30 minute presentation on grant research in front of a group of 15 people, entirely in Spanish. While I was doing it, I was thinking to myself “I cant believe I’m doing this” and “does this mean I’m officially trilingual now?”. It was far from perfect, and at times, I did search for my words. Regardless, I gave the entire presentation without so much as looking at my notes and I was able to take questions and respond to them adequately.

My experiences and improved language skills are not the only thing I will take away from this experience. While I am sad about going home, I leave Lima confident and excited about the future.

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