Summer Plans 2012: Farming in Peru and Placerville

Hello Hello! O – HOLA!

I write to you now from the airport in Lima, Peru, on a 9 hour layover between flights from San Salvador (El Salvador) and Cuzco. What on earth, you might ask, am I doing in Peru?

Well, my Peace Corps placement officer gave me a single obligation  when she assigned me to service in Nepal: she indicated that in order to feel comfortable assigning me as an agriculture volunteer she wanted me to spend the summer working full time on a farm. I was more than happy to accept this stipulation, as I am more than happy to gain experience for my assignment, especially if it means playing in the dirt all summer :).

This still begs the question: why am I in Peru? Well, a funny moment hit me about a month and a half ago: despite my excitement to be spending 2 years in Nepal in the near future, the latin-lover in me realized that this also means I have 2 years when I can’t go to Latin America – and 2 more years away from Peru, my dream destination of the past 5 years. So I thought – why not find a way to fulfill my farming obligation and my dream destination? So – I looked into it. Actually, my good friend Kat is the real source of planting this seed. She’s moving down here (Peru) this summer to work with the Andean Alliance and establish a demonstration farm in the Sacred Valley. Between the possibility of working with her, a cursory search on the WWOOF website (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming), and verifying my tax returns, I said – what’s stopping me? And – I bought a plane ticket. I will be spending the majority of the time on an organic coffee and cocoa farm just north of Machu Picchu called Quellomayo. I will NOT have internet while I am there, so expect responses from me accordingly !

I will return to the US on the forth of July (fittingly) and spend the remainder of the summer working on an organic farm in Camino, CA while living at home with my parents.  (But I will take a break from farming to work at Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp once again in late July!)

That’s all I’ve got for now – but stay tuned for a posting on coffee farming in Peru in a week or two (whenever I manage to get back into town and online)!