Sunday, August 21
New career move
Since March, I've been trying to find another area in the GS/OAS to take me on. At a time of institutional crisis, it's hard to get managers to pull the trigger on bringing in new personnel -- they're concerned about protecting the staff and budget that they already have. This past week, I started work in the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), a policy area within the GS/OAS. I will be the resident writer-editor working directly with the executive secretary and also supporting the communications director.
At one suspenseful moment this past month, I gave up hope and began sending out resumes to other places. But the exercise made me realized that my best fit was CICAD -- my first-hand experience in Latin America, my combined skills of researcher, writer and editor in English and Spanish, my penchant for web technology, all meld together to contribute to making CICAD more efficient and productive. CICAD could also maximize my own potential if the management knows how to get the most out of me. In OITS, I've been glaringly underutilized for the past year, especially after my mentor retired.
The OAS has been the longest stretch of continuous employment in my life. Only during my four years in the Peruvian Times, almost 30 years ago, did I stick with a job this long. I'm not counting my years of "self-employment," freelancing in Peru. Of course, within the OAS I've worn multiple hats (user support, web development, project management, technology pathfinder). Now I've come back to writer.
Wednesday, August 17
Rails across the Andes
- Elio H. Galessio's History of Railroads in Peru and another version of the same story.
- The Railways of the Andes from Mike's Railway History
- Railroad Development Corporation, the current operator of the Ferrocarril Central Andino
- A Railroad in the Clouds -- Oroya Railroad from Mountain Railroading, but really a reprint of an article and illustrations from Scribner's
- Allen Morrison's Tramways: Lima, Arequipa and others.
Friday, August 12
Fresh eyes on Peru
world.techrose.org: Peru: "Where Jesus Never Ruled and other stories from the highlands and lowlands of Peru" Mahesh Shantaram traveled to Peru last year and turned his camera and pen on the country and its people, visiting Lima, Arequipa, Puno, and Cusco. He has a collection of 22 photo essays and over 300 images. Here's how he describes his material:
"Know the true meaning of El Condor Pasa. Get high on Pisco. Save the Ceviche. Spot real Beetles. Experience the City of Kings. Inquire into the Jesus factor. Take the double switchback to Machu Picchu. Walk on the reed islands of Lake Titicaca. Ride the Altiplano. Find love and intrigue in Arequipa. Discover the India connection. Do it all in Peru!"
I commend him for the links that he complements his essays with. I have not seen some of them before and I will probably be highlighting them on their own right in this blog and elsewhere on the site. For those who just want his pix, you can go to his Smugmug portfolio.
Inca Tax Records Were Tied Up in Knots, Study Says
Khipus are among the most fascinating artifacts of the Inca, and Gary Urton from Harvard University has been among the most dogged investigators into their nature. His latest study has just been published in Science magazine. It's a comparison of 21 khipus.
Thursday, August 11
A change of pace -- resurrecting an old piece
This story is being put up in less than polished prose because I just wanted to get it done -- the page has been sitting on my hard disk for nearly six months. I will be adding some illustrations, cleaning up some overheated sentences and generally reviewing it with 20 years more of writing experience. I had not yet started to work consistently as a freelancer. I also need to recognize that non-Peruvians are going to be reading it -- I wrote it for a general Lima readership.
Wednesday, August 10
InterAmerican rights court turns down Berenson appeal
Tuesday, August 9
Forced from the land
Ayacucho the city was impressive because it ballooned in size during the war because peasants fled the countryside. Entire villages disappeared. Refugees lived in basements for weeks, afraid to come out for fear of being seen by the Peruvian military, the police or Sendero.
And when the the provincial cities could hold no more, the refugees fled to Lima. It was an intriguing -- and painful -- movement of people. Part of the the relief of peace has been the return of a large share of the refugees to their homeland, their fields and communities. I have only seen glimpses of that story since I left Peru in early 1996.
Monday, August 8
Cybercafes in Peru
I found this document in the CyberLibrary of the Networks-and-Development-Foundation, located in the Domincan Republic. It hosts a lot of websites that deal with technology and development.
Friday, August 5
Abimael Guzmán - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tuesday, August 2
Actually the site that links to me most (not counting Google) happens to be RedForum, which happens to be in French. From the red and black motif on the site, it seems to be a left wing political site. Since I can't trace the link back to its source, I can't tell what they are actually referencing.
Building towards the future
- Poor areas of Peru see higher sales and more jobs
- Attacking poverty in Peru
- Securing private investment to help Peru's poor
- Developing pathways from poverty in Peru
Many may complain about the US policy slant and the distortions that it can create in development strategy and economic performance. But the reality is that because of the commitment made to Iraq and the "war on terrorism," the US impact on Peru will be steadily declining for the next five years, if not longer.