Wednesday, January 6, 2010

back to my hut

Well, I figure I´ve waited long enough so I better put a little update on here. But hopefully I was able to personally share some stories with you on my trip home for Christmas and New Years. The -14 degree weather of MN was definately a shock.. I was constantly complaining that I was cold, and my mother constantly telling me to go find some slippers. But skiing, making a gigantic super-snowman, and wearing winter clothing were all lots of fun. It was perfect to slip into a beautiful snowy winter for two weeks knowing I´d be able to escape very soon. I also had a chance to see lots of family and friends which was wonderful. It was perfect timing to get a glimpse of what the states is like these days without getting too attached to the comforts of home knowing that I have less than six months left here in Peace Corps Panama. CRAZY!!! Where has the time gone? I´m not looking forward to the scorpians I will find after leaving my house alone for so long.. but I am excited to see my friends and get back to work. Before heading home, work in site was pretty slow but with such a short time left I´m going to be busy finishing up all the things I´ve started. We have received the funding for the Peace Corps Partnership grant to fix up the restaurant and cabin in the community and construction will be starting asap. I´ll also be continuing the Muchachas Guias or girl scouts group I started last January, as well as continuing with my adult English class. Time is going to fly and I´m already sad thinking of saying goodbye to my incredible time here.

Monday, August 31, 2009

my world

I live in a world where oranges are green, where lemons are limes, where banana bread is a dulce (sweet) and Tang needs extra sugar.

Where chocolate has a season and grows on trees, where water comes from the sky, not the faucet, where coconut comes from, well, a coconut.

Where the ability to speak English guarantees you a job, where its normal for aunts and uncles to be older than nieces and nephews, where king kong and mermaids exist, where the season depends on the weather that week,

where conversations can be as simple as stating the obvious (you’re washing your clothes… yup),

where playing volleyball is a sin, where cutting the grass means sharpening your machete, where fishing is to get dinner, not a sport, where having electricity is a luxury, where cars are non-existent, where finding 10¢ is like finding $10, where life is simple.

I live in a world where I am happy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

happy birthday! happy 4th! happy medical exams??

It´s official. I´ve now been in site for over a year so the countdown begins.
I had a wonderful 23rd birthday last week. Sooo much better than last year. Last year I had been in the community for only four days and didn´t know anyone so it was a lonely day. This year I was traveling and saw a lot of friends. Thanks for making my day great!! Then I made the long trip to Panama City with another volunteer, Joanna. After one year in site we are required to do medical exams and because I live in an indigenous community we had to stay in the city for three days. It included lots of poking, pooping in a cup and six hours in the dentist´s office. Unfortunately the appointments took longer than I had hoped for (surprise surprise in Panama) so I didn´t have as much free time as I would have liked. But I still fit in a movie, shopping at the malls, a pedicure and lots of good eating out! Good thing I had been saving up my money for a while... Yesterday started the long haul back to Bocas with a night in David and now I´m just waiting for my boat. It was nice to have a break but I can´t afford to do it too often. I´m looking forward to getting back. While I was away I got a call from my best friend in the community saying her dog had puppies so I´m excited to see them.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I'm living the rough life right now... the managers of the resort on the other side of the island where I live invited me over for the weekend and I'm LOVING it!!! I've got my own cabin with a super comfy bed and I crank up the AC at night, hot shower, a pool, three course dinners, and so much more. It's called Popa Paradise and it rocks. I totally recommend it, and there's a chance all the volunteers in Bocas will be able to come for a couple days. They'll also be able to help me out with transportation to the main island so I'm sooo excited!! Unfortunately it was rainy today so I didn't get much pool time in but hopefully tomorrow will be better and we'll go to the beach. My life just got better!
Life in site is same ol' same ol'. I just taught my friend how to play cribbage (no, it's not just an old person's game even though that's what everyone says..) so I'm excited about that! And the volleyball playing continues as always... I finally started teaching English in the school. I had been avoiding it before but the new professor has been coming to my adult class and asked me if I would help in his class. He teaches 7th-9th grade. So, I'm going to help out every Thursday. I went last week and loved it! I'm pumped to be doing something else in the community. I'm excited about the possibilitites of working more with the resort as well. They are possibly going to be bringing more of their clients to visit the community.
super... short and sweet. Hope all is well wherever life finds you! Chao de Popa!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

busy, busy, busy

Fewh! It's been four weeks since the last time I used a computer. I've become very anti-internet but unfortunately Peace Corps always sends a million e-mails and it's reporting time so I've been forced to do some computer work. Fortunately I'm at a friend's house who has internet! Just like back home.

Recently I've been busy helping out with group 63 training. They are a great group and it's nice to have a break from site. Last week I was in Cocle for TEA Technical Week. They taught in the school, worked on a recycling project and helped update a brochure and webpage. At first I didn't think it would be much of a vacation, but after showering the volunteer whose house I was staying at asked if I wanted to use her hair dryer and I knew it would be an alright week. Yesterday we had our regional meeting. The meeting itself wasn't anything too exciting but it's always fun to get together with other volunteers an last night we went dancing so that was a good time. Today I'm getting in my much needed computer time and tomorrow I'll head back to site.

In site I'm keeping busy teaching my English class- which is going well, and as always working with the ladies. We recently finished getting four stamps made which we will use as our price tag. Now I'm starting to write up a budget and project proposal for the much needed fix-up of the restaurant and cabin. The weather is perfect. Sunny for the most part during the days and raining at night.

Recent saying I've become fond of saying: "Oh, Panama..."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waa finally updating!

Hola!! It has been forever since I've had the opportunity to update so I'll do my best to fill you in...

First of all, over a month ago I ventured to Antigua, Guatemala to visit my friend, Krista. I had a great time!! I traveled by bus to Costa Rica and flew from there. I got to see the school where she teaches English, many old church ruins, beautiful Lake Atitlan surrounded by volcanoes, a huge artisanry market, and much more. My favorite was climbing a volcano, camping near the top overnight, and roasting marshmellows on the lava. It was an incredible experience and a great break from Panama.

After Guatemala I spent a few weeks back in site but getting re-motivated was difficult. The women's group that I work with is having some major power struggles and organizational issues. So I've been laying low, sewing lots and working on the relationship side of things with the ladies.

The rain finally stopped, but unfortunately it really stopped. When I was last in the community it hadn't rained for a month and people's water sources were running out. But the lack of rain meant lots and lots of volleyball in the afternoons. And me and a few friends have started playing cards, mainly rummy 500, everynight.

Last week we had an all volunteer conference where the over 150 current volunteers in Panama got together to share project ideas and information and talk about culture. It was great to get together with some of the volunteers I hadn't seen since training and meet many people I had never seen before. Bocas del Toro region won the Jeopardy game and Group 61 won the Panamanian challenges.

I'm currently in Panama City waiting to meet group 63 trainees who arrive in the country today. Because of that I had about five days to visit some fellow volunteers in between the conference and today. I visited two conservation volunteers, Ashley and Brandon, in Colon and a fellow tourism and English volunteer, Elena, in the Chagres National Park. It is always crazy to see how other volunteers live and what their daily lives consist of because they are all so diverse. In Elena's site I got my whole back tatooed (don't worry mom, it washes off in about 2 weeks) and got to go tubing down the river. It was really good to hear about their projects and it makes me excited to get back to my site and get working.

Yesterday I spend my whole day in Albrook mall! I got a manicure and pedicure, a haircut, saw a movie, and shopped at Zara! I'm feeling bad about so much time out of my community but this has been a really good break and I know I'll be better able to work when I return to Bocas.

I have now been in Panama for over a year! I arrived in the country April 16, 2008. CRAZY!!! It's hard to comprehend the passing of time when it is perpetual summer here. Time is flying by but I'm still wondering how am I going to fill another year, yet how am I going to finish all I wanted to accomplish! Well, I think that pretty much covers it, hope all is well with you. Chao!