Written by Mark Watson
Right now I’m writing from the kitchen of Casa Yllika, my student housing in the district of Lince in Lima, Peru. It’s been just over two weeks since I arrived in Lima – and quite packed!
I’m spending twelve weeks in Peru learning and working at the Centro Internacional de la Papa (the International Potato Center, or CIP for short), an agricultural research center in Lima that’s had a global effect alleviating poverty through its research on potatoes and other root and tuber crops (by the way, I’m studying horticultural science, agronomy and Spanish).
During my two weeks so far, I’ve gotten settled into life in Lima and into my internship as a research assistant at CIP. Lima has a population bigger than that of New York City, which comes with immense culture and opportunities (and traffic). My internship is with a project led by CIP’s very own Gabriela Burgos and Thomas zum Felde, harnessing the incredibly diverse landscape of potatoes domesticated in Peru to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies in humans. So far, my time at CIP has looked like a combination of laboratory and outdoors work, preparing lots of potatoes for chemical and machine-based analyses at CIP.
That’s what I’m doing while I’m here in Peru, although I’m sure there are plenty of adventures awaiting that aren’t planned. I’ll keep you posted!