Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Nadine Custis: Reflections on Peru

September 17, 2012

For as long as I can remember, my professional goal was to do “something international”, which I gradually narrowed down to “helping people” internationally, which I eventually specified as “international development”.  This was a dream that I carried from around the end of high school/beginning of college on, but by the time I reached college graduation last year, I was ready to give up on it. 

Among other reasons, I didn’t think my dream was realistic.  I didn’t see how I could do what I wanted to do and still have it be, to throw out our favorite buzz word at MIIS, sustainable for myself in the long run.  So, pursuing a graduate degree in the field of international development was me taking one last chance on this dream—in a way that I felt was more realistic and sustainable, both for myself and the individuals I would be working alongside should the goal pan out.

Spending the summer working on development projects in the Sacred Valley of Peru reaffirmed the soundness of my decision.  I don’t know where else (literally and figuratively) my decision to study international development will take me, but what I do know is that this is no longer an amorphous, unattainable dream—this is my new reality, and that’s pretty awesome.