Showing posts from November, 2012

A Journey to the Other Side

(this is the last post in this series. if you are still reading, i am impressed!)
I have spent the last 2 weeks out of site for In Service Training and then the all Volunteer Thanksgiving. It was the first time I had been west of Panama City since Swear In, and in many ways felt like I was visiting another country!

IST- The Darienitas traveled out of the jungle together the Friday before IST so we could use electricity and internet to write our community analyses, scrub off a few layers of jungle funk with hot water, and catch some football before we headed out to the training compound for the week. The down side to the compound: they werent prepared for our arrival and we had to go without sheets for our mattresses or towels for our showers for a bit. The up side to the compound: we had mattresses and running water! The best part of the compound: there was a beach and a restaurant a 45 min walk down the road so we could hang out in the evening after our long days of sitting in chairs. …

A Moment of Thanks

(this is the post of thanksgiving)

As Volunteers, we like to rant and complain about our frustrations and challenges, and like any other job, this often times overshadows the things we love about our service. The following are the top 30 things that make me happy and that I am thankful for every single day of my service.

1. Playing with my host brothers and the other kids in site
2. Drinkable water, especially if it is cold
3. Phone calls
4. Spices
5. Sitting down to poop
6. Re-reading 6 month old letters from friends and family
7. Hammocks
8. A breeze or a fan
9. Getting emails from people other than my higher ups, my credit cards, or Best Buy
10. Having my own hut
11. Chocolate in any form (doesn’t matter if all the M&Ms have melted together!)
12. Not being sick
13. Guys that look and smell clean, and are taller than me! (and do not catcall me!)
14. My mosquito net
16. Jumping in the cold river at the hottest part of the day
17. Hugs
18. Watching kids learn things and knowing I had…

I Have Written This Life Update 4 Times...

...because each time I update it, I end up not having a chance to post it and life happens and makes it way out of date. we go.

(this is the 'here is what I am actually doing' post)

Health Update- knock on wood, 3 months sans major illness or injury! After Giardia, 4 rounds of pink eye and an ear infection, not to mention 4" thorns in my hand and slicing my big toe open, I am healthy! I have lost some weight, seeing as nothing I own fits, but it is hard to tell how much without a scale. Also because my clothes get stretched out by beating them on rocks. It will be a pleasant surprise the next time I find a scale. I just finished 2 weeks out of site and the change in food wreaked havoc on my digestive system, but the traditional Thanksgiving food, the egg casserole and veggies, the ice cream, and cheese were worth the stomachaches.

Mental Health Update- the rollercoaster continues. Panama is great, and then it makes me crazy. I am accepting the bugs and the heat and…

Cooking in the Campo

(this is the entertaining post)

I have been living in my own for almost 2 months now, and that means cooking for myself too. Anyone who knows me pre-Panama knows that I am a very talented woman, but the kitchen was never my forte. In college I survived on Jimmy Johns, Chipotle, Breuggars, and anything that could be microwaved. Even then sometimes my veggies in a bag sometimes blew up.

Now I live in the jungle, with a 2 burner gas camp stove, food straight from the fields, and I havent seen a microwave for more than 6 months. Results? I havent died of starvation nor blown my house up yet. I have eaten plenty of burned plantains, undercooked rice, and unsalvagable coffee, but I am learning. And whenenver I mess it up too bad I can always go over to someone else's house to visit. They will undoubtedly feed me.

However, with my very limited means I do have a few 'success stories'- and I am grateful to Emily every day for the care package of Trader Joe's spices and seasonings.…

My Problem with Missionaries

(this is the soapbox-y post)

Yo, Playona. The world is hard. What are you going to do about it? Don't look at me. I certainly can't answer that for you. Sometime you are going to have to suck it up and own it. You are proud, strong, and sassy. You have a rich culture and more passion for yourselves, your families, and your community than most 'dedicated artists' I know. Quit making excuses. I know it is scary to take risks and do new things. I know this girl who once left all of her family and friends behind to go live in a completely different world 3,000 miles away. It was scary, but she hasn't died yet. You are smart and capable people. Men, put your beer down, and try thinking with your brain. Women, stop making fun of so and so's shirt or so and so's hair, and try thinking about your future. Kids, do your own freaking homework for once.

I wish I could say these things. I wish that if they heard these things that they would actually believe them.

Someone …

Coming Soon...

I have 5 updates I would like to post but at the moment havent been able to sit down at a computer long enough to get them from my journal to the internet. I will make sure that happens in the next 2 weeks. Until then, check out the blogs of Danielle, Ben, and Chris, other PCVs in my program from G71. We all live in the same kind of community on the same river. Danielle is 3 hours down river from me, Ben is 2 more after that, and Chris is 4 hours from Ben. So we're pretty much neighbors!
They are 3 more perspectives on the life I am living and are really entertaining as well. Plus, they keep me from nailing pancakes to trees. This is important.
Love and miss you all, life update coming soon!
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