Anyways, they're done now and I'm on to period two next week. I'll be taking a course on research methodology and one on the sociology of rural change; I already have the readings so I'll be back to work later today I think. Progress on my thesis and internship is still slow, but moving along. I've had a few discussion with various researchers involved with quinoa and coca and I'm starting to lean towards quinoa as a topic. I will likely study how production has changed to accomodate greater production for export or the effects of another intervention (eg. fair trade, farmer field schools, etc.). The researchers that I have been talking with have voiced their concerns, but also support for a project on coca. The problem is that after many years of eradication projects the locals are quite reluctant to discuss coca to any extent. This problem is much worse for me simply because I'm American. They have said that research in the area could be very useful, but that a master thesis may not be enough time to gain enough trust with locals to conduct a quality study. As far as my internship, I've applied to IFAD in Rome and will probably apply to USAID as well. An idea that I've been tossing around is to go back to Ghana and do a research internship with the Sustainable Tree Crops Program. The people there were very helpful and they've expressed an interest in me coming back for a study. We'll try to be flexable and see how things work out.
Amanda won't be coming up to Wageningen until Tuesday (she originally planned on Saturday) because the reservation cost over 200 euros! When I reserve a seat here it costs 10-15 euros so I don't know if it's French taxes or what. She'll probably really enjoy herself in my apartment while I'm in class Wednesday, but we'll go to Amsterdam on the weekend to see the sights there.
Oh, and of course the results of our first edition of Where is Amanda or Andrew?! The answers are below. The winner, by quite a margin, is my former brother Pete. You have until 1 Nov. to pick up your LARGE CASH PRIZE at my apartment; don't forget your raincoat.
1. Cusco, Peru
2. Bordeaux, France
3. Boston, United States
Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon Pete, Andrew