torstai 16. maaliskuuta 2017

New Peruvian heroes

It's already mid-March which means that I only have two weeks left here with m practise before returning back to Finland and to Rovaniemi. Back to the normal things. A different world without plenty of things I have learned to live with here. But every story has an ending - and my practise here does not make any exemption. But let's not get too melancholic - not yet anyway. The glass is half full and I still have two weeks to enjoy all the noises, smells and feelings of this wonderful country which now - as I see it - has a very special place in my heart.

After work and after returning home I quite often go the the campus of PUCP-university. The abbreviation PUCP stands for Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, i.e. a Catholic University of Peru, Not only is this University close to my place but also ranks either first or second when comparing academically - so it's quite prestigious to say the least. This week has been very busy at the campus area as the University students return from their holidays. And of course there are a lot of newcomers too. In the campus area there is a nice bookshop - which surprisingly enough does not sell only scientific books but fiction as well. Not to forget about Manga comics! Despite the fact that I have my luggage allowance already at its limits I have bought some books from this store. The latest purchase was a book Nuevos héroes peruanos written by Daniel Córdova.

Daniel Córdova Cayo is a Peruvian economist and in his book "The new Peruvian heroes" he gives the reader an insight view of those Peruvians who have struggled out of the poverty by the means of small scale entrepreneurship. The voice heard in this book is of those interviewed, regular Peruvians with usually low socioeconomic status. By hard work and applicable attitude they have managed to break the vicious circle of poverty. What I like about this book and the stories is that it does not give any fairy tales how to get instantly from "rags to riches". On a contrary, most of the persons (mostly women) interview still today have some difficulties to make the ends meet. But what is more important than money, the idea of small scale entrepreneurship has given them a feeling of autonomy. Another part of this fascinating books is a story of Mibanco - a Peruvian private bank which offers financial services to very small business, la microempresa. With the help of Mibanco many small scale entrepreneurs have managed to find finance with remarkably lower costs and securities.

Being here in Peru has sometimes felt like a jump back in time - to Finland as I knew it some 30 years ago in the 1980's. The use of cash money is still very common. It's more than advisable to make sure that you have enough coins with you to pay the small services. Another quite interesting feature is the amount of people working in the shops and markets. Shop assistants and hence the service is never too far away. Peru also has quite a notorious reputation being a number one country in money counterfeit. It's more that common that your banknotes will be carefully checked whenever dealing with cash money. 

It's 5.30 am here and another hot and sultry day is ahead. During the 10 weeks I have already spent here the midday/afternoon temperature has very rarely fallen below +30 degrees Celsius. Usually - or so I have been told - the summertime here is not this hot. Maybe it's the global warming, maybe El Niño is coming back. However the inner parts of Peru, La Sierra, is in the state of emergency in many parts because of torrential rains and rapid flows which have caused a lot of damage and loss of life. I don't usually rise this early but was given the advise of water shortage after 6 am - so better take that shower now. After that a refreshing breakfast with Peruvian coffee and fruits. Still got that two weeks to enjoy this. 


Police officers with motorbikes - a common sight in the streets of Lima. Surprisingly many female police officers choose to ride motorbike on their duty. Well done!

Start of the new study term. Please keep it quiet - your friends are studying.

Advertising local fish dish - ceviche -  in San Juan de Miraflores. 

An ad-hoc catwalk in Barranco. The very stylish district of Lima.







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