Being part of FLIP #centennial_sage was a huge honour, a big thanks to #centennialcollege for providing this opportunity. Applied our knowledge and experience to implement #prerequisiteprograms for a pilot plant IESTP, ILLIMO. It was a great experience which helped me to learn technical as well as personal skills as working with a group of 10 students from different countries with different ideas is never easy but this is how you learn #teamwork. Besides this, a warm welcome by our Peruvian partners made our willingness for our project more stronger. Also, we visited museums, beach and a number of manufacturing plants which added a lot of fun. Received the certification of recognition for all of our team work and also raised fund from our group for students as a scholarship after going through emotional discussion about the poverty and passion of Peruvian children for education. The trip was overall mixture of education, fun and a lifelong rememberable global experience.
10 days is neither short nor long for a school trip to Peru but it is long enough for us to get to know each other. Thanks Centennial College for giving us a chance to apply what we have learnt from Food Science Technology program to support in building a pilot plant for IESTP, ILLIMO. Teamwork and friendship connected us to be one to help our college’s partner in Illimo and also learnt from them who are full of hospitality and will. Not only that it was such an honor for us to introduce ourselves and share our work and experience with Ministry of Education in Lima, Peru.
10 students with 10 different characteristics from 5 countries Canada, India, Venezuela, Jamaica and Vietnam have gathered and been led by our stunning professor- Xavier and Steve. We have worked together to build a safety program for the pilot plant in the partner institute with constructive recommendations. No matter how hard we worked, we are happy to be welcomed warmly from Ms. Maria, Lidia and Peruvian students. The extreme heat of this tropical country cannot stop our willing contributions to the success of the final project. Besides, we had a great opportunity to discover Lima – the capital of Peru and Chiclayo – a beach city which is known as a city of friendship. In Lima, we had a meeting with the authorities of Ministry of Education to present our projects along with our college’s introduction. Only 2 days in Lima, we made time to visit some local markets to buy souvenirs for family and friends and also did not forget to taste some local foods. 10 strangers became friends from that moment.
After an 8-hour-and-a-half flight, we arrived in Chiclayo city where we had cultural activities by visiting Sican museums and the dry forest in Pomac before having another meeting with regional government of Lambayeque. Then we started working on our project at IESTP. It took us about 1 hour to commute every single day by van. On the first working day, our hearts were melted by a small banner in Spanish “Bienvenidos Amigos Canadienses” (Welcome Canadian friends) right at the main office of the institute. Getting to know about this institute, the profs, staffs and students was a pleasure. The students are very young but they have a huge passion for the subjects they are following at school. Without modern facilities, they have been studying very hard for a better life after graduation. We were surprised to know many students out there can not afford to study even though the tuition fee for one year is about 250 soles (around 100 CAD). We decided to raise a fund from our group for 5 scholarship awards named “FLIP Peru 2019” for the freshmen after our very emotional discussion.
Saying goodbye is never easy but this happens sometimes in life. We were very proud, not because of receiving the certificate of recognition from IESTP, but eventually we found ourselves and learnt some lessons which we have not got from school. What is more, we meet each other for one mission and become friends. We would like to use an old African proverb, which Steve reminded us, to put an end for this post “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.
Thanh Sang Huynh – FLIP Peru 2019
It is now the last day in Peru. Last night during dinner, we each shared our thoughts on the program and our experience with each other. Among the things said were how much of an impact we felt we made, the amount of knowledge we were able to apply from Centennial, and the bond we now share with each other. What amazed me was the amount of work and cultural activities we were able to squeeze in ten days and the appreciation I felt for our two faculty members and the rest of the team. As of right now, we are all waiting in the airport both excited to get home, but also sad to leave Peru.
Cindy (FLIP PERU, 2019)
I think I can finally safely say I am over most of the Jet lag (Ha!). I woke up with a good nights rest and went to prepare some breakfast and green tea for myself and my roommate, Monica. We were out relatively early today, as Monica and I have a meeting at 9am with our program coordinator, to go over our finalized timetables. We were both excited and nervous on our walk to school this morning (Fun Fact: The sun really doesn’t come up here until around 9am). So, we have both learned to do most things in the dark lol! (Which also saves on electricity, thumbs up for sustainability).
As we walked to the university (about a ten-minute walk from our flat), we shared our excitement and nerves regarding our upcoming semester at the University of the West of Scotland. Upon arrival, we met with our coordinator who happens to be from Greece (so he has both a Greek and Scottish accent mushed into an entirely different fraken-accent). He’s great. He was able to work out and give us our identical timetables and… guess what! We only have three classes (due to credit sizing conversion between Canada and the UK). This meaning, we only have classes on Wednesday mornings and Thursday’s. Giving us five extra days for exploring, study and whatever else we can get ourselves into, Woohoo!
After discussing enrolment and some paperwork; Monica and I were free for the rest of the day. I ended up buying a University sweater to show some UWS pride (and it’s a plus because it’s very warm!). We got hungry around 1pm, so we decided to go to “Malatso” (a cafe located near campus, as they carry a vegan menu and have student discounts!).
I had a delicious vegan mini “Scottish breakfast”, it was very tasty! Monica also enjoyed a baked potato, which is a staple food here in Scotland. After eating, we explored the town of Paisley together and finally bought pillows for our flat!! Yay! (no more sleeping on my airplane neck pillow…lol). For the remainder of the afternoon, we took some photos together and explored the old churches in the area. The main attraction here in Paisley (the town we are staying in, near Glasgow), is “The Paisley Abbey”, which is an old church that dates back to the 12th century! It is so beautiful and we are so lucky as it can be seen from our flat window.
After finishing our exploring for the day, we visited Morrison’s (a UK grocery store), to do some food shopping and use their wifi. We are loving all the new and exciting products that are offered here. What an adventure it has been. When we got home, I made us some long-grain rice and vegetables for supper (alongside some trustee convenience store bananas! Which are surprisingly very good).
I finished packing my school bag for tomorrow and prepared myself for bed. I went to bed around 9pm. I know that seems early, but since it gets dark so early, we feel tired much quicker. Also, we did a ton of walking today.
Tomorrow marks the first official day of classes!! We are both so excited!
Love and Greeting from Bonnie Scotland!
You can continue to follow Monica and I’s adventures by following us on our Instagrams;
We have spent the last four days in Illimo working on the prerequisite plans for the pilot plant located within the Institute. They intend on producing jam, cheese, yogurt, and butter. It will also function as a teaching facility for the students. Part of our responsibilities included developing SOPs for receiving and storage, SSOPs for the equipment and common areas, processing flow charts and diagrams, and recommendations for the premises, pest control, and traceability.
We spent half of each day preparing thse documents. On the first day, we spent the other
half socializing with the students and alumini at the Institute. We learned abour their history, culture, and passion for the industry. It was humbling to meet the students, because even though they work so hard, each of them took a day off to welcome us to the Institute.
For the other days, we had site visits to industrial partners including a banana plantation, guinea pig farm, animal feed production facility, and bee apiary. Each location began as a family run business and has developed into profitable establishments in Peru. It was an honour to speak to the representatives and owners, and to see their dedication and pride with their respective companies.
We have spent many hours at the Institute and back at the hotel completing all the documents for the Institute. Tomorrow we will spend our last day presenting these documents to our Peruvian partners.
Cindy (FLIP PERU, 2019)
By Jenny San Juan
It’s been 5 days already in Peru. We spent 2 nights in Lima and then came to Chiclayo, another city in Peru where we are going to work helping develop premises, GMPs, SOPs for a educational food processing plant. People here are so warm, polite, welcome, and sweet. Undoubtedly, this is a great experience to get to know Peruvian culture and understand that we have more similarities than differences.
The professors of the IESTP Institute are so professional and very warm facilitators.
We did not imagine the scope that Centennial College had in Peru. I feel very proud of being a Centennial College student as I myself witnessed how hard Centennial College have worked and continue to work towards helping building a more focused and efficient education system based on the local community’s needs. Even more inspirational is to know that Centennial College participation in this type of projects had inspired other local and international institutions and organizations to take part on this project. The outcome? Well, more young local people with less resources, and otherwise not able to access superior education, are now on their way to college and building a professional career that will enhance their lives and their community in countless ways, and you can feel it when they look at us with grateful faces for us being here.
What an amazing experience!
Hi all, this is Cindy (FLIP Peru, 2019). After 12 hours of travel time, we finally arrived at our hotel in Lima! It was 3am and we were all exhausted so it was straight to bed for us.
After breakfast in the morning, we departed for the Ministry of Education. Here, we were able to share our experiences, hopes, and excitement with the team. We specifically highlighted our diverse FLIP team, both culturally and academically. The purpose of our visit is to help a pilot plant in Illimo build their prerequisite plans and set them on the path to success. Moreover, my personal goal is to immerse myself in all of the Peruvian culture, from food to customs and traditions. I not only want to share my experiences, but to learn as much as I can about our Peruvian partners. After our Ministry visit, we spent the rest of the day immersing ourselves in the food culture and Peruvian markets surrounding our hotel.
Day 2 in Peru was spent exploring the Larcomar area, followed by our next flight out of Lima and into Chiclayo for the late evening.
We were all settled into Chiclayo for Day 3’s cultural day, spent visiting museums in Lambayeque and a historic dry jungle where we learned about and saw the impact of El Nino on their ecosystems and economy.
Today we are up bright and early to begin our first day in Illimo and are excited to meet with our Peruvian partners to begin a week full of work, sharing our knowledge and cultures.
At the end of day 1, I thought to share my day with all the readers. First, landing in Lima at midnight didn’t give me an opportunity to explore the city, but when I started my day wearing a professional attire to meet Ministry of Education, Lima, I felt that I might have a big day today. Yes, I did. When we reached at Ministry of Education, the Peruvian officials greeted and welcomed us with smile and love. We (group of 12 people from Centennial College Food Science Technology program) had exchanged the views on developing technical aspects for the partner institution in Chiclayo. After the meeting, we had an opportunity in clicking a picture with the Peruvian officials and ended our afternoon. Second, had an amazing lunch at a local Chinese-Peruvian restaurant and moved ourselves to explore the city and adapt the culture. Finally, at the end of the day, I have learned one thing – People have high values and they are always welcoming. With excitement to start day 2 and tiredness of day 1, the first night at Lima, Peru ends.
Getting ready for Peru has been quite the experience. For me I haven’t travelled since 2016 and when I got the acceptance to participate I realized I had to renew my passport because it was expired 😂. The next thing I had to worry about was medical check. I felt healthy but I haven’tc been to the doctor’s in a while so I wasn’t actually sure how healthy I was. The visit wasn’t too long but the doctor did give me a few shots and some take home vaccines to protect me for when I was travelling and also gave me a clean bill of health to travel. I knew it would be hot in Peru so I decided to wear exclusively white shirts in order to combat the heat. I’m fully packed and ready to take on this global experience!!!
The reason why I have salutated in Spanish is we (group of 10 students from food science technology) are going to a partner institution in Peru! Now as we are leaving from Toronto airport, I see some mixed feelings on all their faces, some with excitement and some with anxiety. But whatever faces we carry, we all had one thing back of our mind – Give our best to the partner institution and get something back what we can give to the Centennial Conmunity!