Ash Kosiewicz

Ash Kosiewicz (Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team): Ash graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002 with a dual degree in government and journalism. After graduation, he worked for two years as a child support officer with the Texas Office of the Attorney General. In 2004, he moved to Ecuador, where he lived for 10 months working with a local foundation in Guayaquil to raise funds for a health center project in the rural canton of Santa Lucia. Upon returning from Ecuador, he worked for two years as communicators director with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which provides legal aid to the poor in the United States. At the time of his fellowship, Ash was studying for a master's degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. After his fellowship, Ash wrote: "The AP experience has given me another incredibly impactful experience in Latin America. It has given me an incredible story to tell, one that truly leaves people interested though unsure how to respond. I feel like I’ve gone through some pretty intense stuff, and I’ve come out of it stronger and more aware. I know I can handle tough environments, and work in a fast paced environment."



The Fun Begins

26 May

Happy Monday! I took my first official bus ride by myself in Lima this morning from my neighborhood of Barranco to the EPAF office in a neighborhood about an hour away called Jesus Maria. The ride cost me 36 cents. Looking at a map of Lima, you wouldn´t think it would take that long, but it did. Riding buses in Latin America is another unique pleasure. The buses — some tiny, some larger — are usually manned by two people: the driver, and a second male that shouts from the entryway the multiple destinations of the bus and collects money. When the bus stops, you sometimes have to run to get on, responding quickly to the money handler shouting ´´Suba! Suba! Suba!´´(¨Get on! Get on! Get on!¨) I jumped on the bus hoping to find a seat and make a mental record of where the bus was going, but I had to stand and the bus was so small that I couldn´t see out the windows. For the record, I am 6 feet 4 inches – not exactly a mirror of the smaller stature of most Peruvians.

Today, I am meeting with the executive director of The Advocacy Project and the executive director of EPAF in preparation for our trip to Ayacucho this evening. Our goal is to bring to life a vivid recounting of who those killed in Putis really were – their stories, their work, their struggles, and the history that was violently taken from them. The bus ride is about 8 hours to Ayacucho, and then another 2-3 hours to Putis. More updates to come …

Posted By Ash Kosiewicz

Posted May 26th, 2008

6 Comments

  • Holly

    May 26, 2008

     

    Lima hasn’t changed a bit, I see. Please send updates sooooooon.

  • Zosia

    May 28, 2008

     

    Hello Ash,
    I’m Zosia, your cusin (niece in fact) from Warsaw, Poland. I’m 14 and a half. It’s very nice for me to contact with you this way.
    I hope we will see on Christmast in Poland.
    Best regards from all family.
    Zosia

  • Steph

    May 29, 2008

     

    I wish I had your courage and your way with words. I also wish and hope that someday I will be navigating the bus system somewhere like Peru (and blowing Geoff’s mind, who has never left the country, except a quick jaunt to Mexico).

    Proud of you and miss you.

  • gk

    May 31, 2008

     

    On Frontline World the other day they had a story from Guatemala about an investigation in to mass disappearences and rumors of executions by the state police. It seemed very apropos.

    Here’s the website – you can actually watch the program (like 20 minutes on that story)

    Guatemala: The Secret Files
    http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/guatemala704/

  • Douglas Uzzell

    June 2, 2008

     

    Ash,
    You put one well through the goal on this one. You probably are already familiar with saroche, but my sympathy follows you as you deal with all the new sensations, excitement, doubts, and fears. Corage.
    You have my full admiration — and envy.
    Doug

  • Larissa

    June 2, 2008

     

    Ash–It sound like you are experiencing the full Peruvian Palate! Que bueno. Estoy en El Salvador, pero la experiencia es muy diferente. Manana, voy a estar en una oficina. Pero el resto de la semana, (I should probably write in English on your blog, huh?)–I will be attending meetings the rest of the week with survivors. Quite the opposite of your work, hmm? Great job on the video! It was really cool to see the work you are doing. Keep it up!

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