By Riley Wertenberger
Human interaction has always been fascinating to me – the way people act the way they do and how they use their resources to create communities, language, and ways of life.
These interests of mine, including the biology opportunites, lead me to study abroad in Peru. I have found that traveling broadens the mind and spirit!
By Joe Jalinsky
Coming to Lima I was determined to speak Spanish as much as possible. My knowledge of the language is a bit lacking but I usually can get my point across using broken sentences accompanied by a variety of hand or body gestures. It has led to some confusion. One night I ordered a bottle of water with ice cream in it when I meant to say ice (helado vs hielo). For the most part exchanges have been successful and I have been gaining confidence in my ability to communicate.
En route to our first stop (Museo de Sito Huallamarca) we passed several chifa, Chinese-Peruvian restaurants, reminders of the large wave of Chinese emigrants who came to Peru in the nineteenth-century to work in sugar plantations and guano mines. I asked our guide, Luis Villacorta (Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae), about the etymology of chifa and he suggested that it is a conflation of “rice” and “to eat.”
By Bethany Christiansen
As a researcher doing fieldwork in a foreign country, I normally stop in cities for the essentials: meet collaborators and process paperwork for research permits. Little time is made for savoring the city or indulging in its daily life. Early in the planning of this field course, we decided to dedicate 2-3 days to an orientation to Peru, through an academic tour of it museums and cultural life. This is my 4th visit to Peru, so it is time that I also steep myself in this side of Peru; I am as much a student as the other participants accompanying me.
We sat in a classroom that smelled of mothballs. Drawers upon drawers of dead bugs lined the room, their bodies pinned to foam boards.
Caroline Chaboo, curator, focuses on the biology, behavior and systematics of chrysomelid leaf beetles.
One of the interesting aspects of field research is having the opportunity to experience the culture of the community and the country we visit. For our varied group on the Peru trip, we are going to see places in Lima such as cathedrals, monasteries, museums and historic centers. But while we are there, something else will be happening: a presidential election. In Peru, it's mandatory to vote, so on voting day, most everything in Lima closes as 9 million people try to get around town to vote.
I specialize in chrysomelid leaf beetles. Chrysomelidae (about 40,000 species) forms one of the largest radiations of animals, and they present many interesting research problems. My approach is holistic, with extensive fieldwork to explore life histories, ecology, behavior, and laboratory study of morphology and molecules.