Showing posts from August, 2012

Things One Could Send

*I am posting this because I have received several inquiries about what I would like sent in a care package. Postage from the US to Panama is very expensive so I have no expectations. Letters are always great, and pretty cheap. However, I do miss/want/need...

Mosquito repelling coils
REPEL bug spray with Picaridin (my parents found it, its awesome)
Photos of my friends, family, childhood, and US places to put on my walls
Hand sanitizer
Tennis balls
US Snacks- applesauce, peanut butter, oreos, pudding cups, cheeze its, banana chips, trail mix, popcorn, nuts, wheat thins, jolly ranchers, dried fruit, fruit snacks, etc.
Crystal Lite & Kool aid & propel & gatorade powders
Movies and TV shows on SD cards or flash drives, or in my email. (I'll watch just about anything in English)

Don't forget to include a list of everything inside so that I know I got everything, and check out my contact me page for details on how to get that stuff to me! <3

The Project: Moving Forward

Enter Amber. All of the events leading up to this point have been completed by my previous Volunteer, Moiz. We have an unusual and unique situation in that our services overlap by 3 months. So right now we are both in site, negotiating our next move.
There's 2 other grants, one funded by USAID (called SPA Grant) and the other by friends and families of PCVs (called a PCPP) that could fund this project. Moiz avoided this track initially because it is still paternalism and lacks sustainability. But after 8 months with still no movement from our agency, we've decided to pursue the grants. The catch being PCV's cannot apply for them in their first 3 or last 6 months of service. Which means we have just under 2 months left to prep the SPA grant for when I become eligible at the end of September. But that means Moiz will not be here to see build, as he COS's in early October. It's hard to let a project go before completion, and I do not envy the position he…

The Project: Getting Started

My community, among other things, lacks latrines. However, as all development projects go, it is not as simple as putting in a few poop holes and calling it a day. First, there's the physical aspect of digging a hole. The water table in the region is only 1'-2' down, because the elevation is more or less at sea level. Also, heavy rains several months of the year and the preference for the indigenous tribes to establish communities along the rivers (not only a water source but the method of transport as well) is common. Ergo, digging holes is only going to create more nesting grounds for mosquitoes. This means worse things here than the annoying red bug bites. Mosquitoes in the jungle spread Malaria, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Hemorrhagic Dengue, H1N1, and others. While some people are vaccinated against these, most are not. And even I am not protected against Dengue as it is a virus that comes in 5 strains for which there is neither vaccine nor medication. So it…