Showing posts from 2013

Top 10 Moments of 2013

1. Introducing my American Family to my Embera Family! (Dec)
2. Girl's night out in Panama City with my friends from the States! (June)
3. Getting the email that my project was funded! (August)
4. My beach birthday party: Dolphins and bonfire! (Nov/Dec)
5. Watching Team Verde unify and work together to win the olympics at GAD camp! (May)
6. Family dinner at Aja's with Settlers and Pumpkin Bread (Oct)
7. Taking Crazy Mike's boat out on the lagoon with the kids on the Kusapin Peninsula (Feb)
8. Watching 30 families compete in Jeopardy for my Epic Health Seminar- they learned things! (Mar)
9. Talking to Playona's first 4 graduates about their plans to continue their education! (Dec)
10. Watching my map painters show off their new world knowledge! (Jul)
11. Having 60 kids show up to the Ultimate Frisbee workshop! (Sept)
12. Looking out my front porch and seeing 3 new composting latrines every morning!
13. Waking up to a "rain blizzard" on Thanksgiving morning and…

Some Months are More Challenging Than Others: Part 4

The fourth and final chapter of my November saga. 
While sick in the city,I had lots of time to step back and reflect on my project and its future. Last March 30 families entered into the project, and some of them have put in over 100 hours of labor. In August we got funds for 15 latrines, and construction began. I have sweated with them hauling heavy building materials in ridiculous heat, shared oranges with their kids while mixing cement, and been fed in their hammocks on work days when I never get a lunch break. They work, nonstop, from before I want to be awake in the morning until mother nature forces us to quit with rain or sunset. Their motivation and dedication to the project, voluntary participation, on top of all their other jobs and commitments, is unprecedented. The construction of 15 latrines, which I had originally expected to take the rest of my service, will be completed if not by the end of 2013 then very early in January 2014. Inspired and motivated by them, I set ab…

Some Months are More Challenging Than Others: Part 3

Rachel and Aja arrived Monday morning, as did a head cold. So while I toughed it out on Monday, Tuesday was much more difficult. I set them out working and would disappear to my house for 30-60 min periodically to take naps because I was feeling icky and everyone seemed to be doing alright. The girls left early Wednesday morning and I got the crew started working again, throwing the top foundation on the last of the 5 latrines. They noticed my grogginess and sniffling and sent me home to rest. I was relieved, and I slept until the arrival of Danielle that afternoon.
D had come to visit to help me give an HIV/AIDS seminar to my artisan women. The meeting was scheduled for 4PM. We laid on the floor of my house in the suffocating heat and humidity that afternoon and then went to visit my host brothers for a bit before the meeting. One of my brothers was sick in the hammock with diarrhea and a fever. My host mom was convinced it was malaria. (I am almost certain it was not.) There were al…

Some Months are More Challenging Than Others: Part 2

Something about materials delivery days means that before 6am there will be people on my porch trying to talk to me. Sorry friends, but if the sun isn’t up yet, I’m not up yet. I answered their questions by shouting at them from my bed and continued sleeping until 7:30. At 9:30 the store called to say they were on their way to the port (a 40 minute trip) with the first load. I ran the bell (a rusty hubcap) and set about finding my guys. I found 8 of them huddled on the floor of my host grandpa’s house with a boat motor in about 15 pieces. They tried to explain to me what was wrong with the motor but since I would only somewhat understand what was wrong if someone explained motor problems to me in English, all meaning was lost once it was put in Spanish. I think I got that the motor wouldn’t turn over. I let them fidget with it for an hour, then I started getting really antsy.
At 10:45 I started trying to tell them to give up on the motor and find another one. They went to ask Misa if …

Some Months are More Challenging Than Others: Part 1

I promised some good stories this month, after I nearly missed the entire month of October with my blog and suddenly I find myself at the end of November with my promise as of yet unfulfilled. So here’s a basic play by play of November, broken into 4 parts for your reading convenience!
I wrote my last blog post at noon on Halloween, caught the bus to the terminal, and got to Meteti around 9pm and stayed at Aja, another PCV’s house. The next morning I slept in late, until 8am, then rolled out of bed and dumped some cold water on my head. I spent the day running a couple errands and laying around Aja’s house. At lunch I graduated to tomato soup and grilled cheese. Ben showed up, and eventually Danielle did too. Late afternoon we set about making pumpkin bread with the limited supplies Meteti could provide us, and baked it on a gas stove. (Macguyver an oven by putting a little pot inside a big pot with a lid on it!) That night was Ben’s turn to cook family dinner, and he made veggie crepe…

Happy Halloween!

I have never missed a month when it comes to updating my blog, but October almost got away from me. With just 12 hours left in the month, let's see if I can get this in just under the wire.

Normally I write out a post in my journal by hand while sitting in site, type it up the next time I have use of a computer or feel particularly motivated to hack it out on my tablet, and then save it to the USB to upload to the internet on my next trip to the internet cafe.

October was busy, so the hammock sitting, writing out the post never happened. So here I am at the internet already, skipping steps 1-3 and feeling a little rushed about it, haha.

From September 23 to October 5th we built 5 latrines from 8am to late afternoon, every day. Those 5 latrines are currently in use and the next 5 latrine owners have their materials ready to go so that we can begin building again as soon as the hardware store sobers up after celebrating the country's Independence Day this weekend.

My women LOVE …

Jungle Juggling

Christmas Morning in Panama

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