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Showing posts from January, 2014

If You Don't Like Something, CHANGE IT. If You Can't Change it, Change Your ATTITUDE.

Maya Angelou said it first. But Brandon Valentine said it most.

Let me Tell You About Brandon.

Leaving for Peace Corps was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. After 48 hours of basically no sleep, being overwhelmed with facts about Panama and general security procedures, dealing with staging in Washington DC, I was greeted in Panama by this warm, enthusiastic smile at the Panama City airport. 
Brandon was the first person I met in Panama. I was almost deliriously sleepy, and emotional train wreck, and in complete state of shock at the time. We had just arrived at the training compound for our introductory first few days in country. At the end of his welcoming and logistical spiel, I approached Brandon. I had an envelope of documents our staging coordinator had asked me to hand off to him. He thanked me profusely for handing him the envelope and asked me my name. I told him, and he replied, 'So you're my other Nebraskan!' and told me that he had grew up in …

Why My Peace Corps Staff is Better Than Yours

I could also name this post, 'Sometimes Good Things Fall Apart so Better Things can Come Together'.
(Marilyn Monroe said that, I just stole it.)

I lost a check. Of the money you all donated. I'm sorry. It was an accident, shit happens. I live in the jungle. The beauty of have $1,924.15 in a check rather than in cash, is that when it gets lost, you just go to the bank. They might charge you a fee, but then they void it and write you a new one. At least, that's how it works in the United States of America.

That's not how it works in Panama. Due to the extreme corruption within the political and banking systems in the country, the process is significantly more complicated. But I get ahead of myself.

On January 2, I got to the Peace Corps branch of Banco General. (It's not JUST for Peace Corps, but it is the one nearest the office that we always use.) I sit down with the same man who wrote me the check the previous month and explain the situation. He tells me that …

Give it Up

Four things have happened in very quick succession over the last three weeks that would make any American flip out with impatience and frustration, and over the lack of control over one's own life.

1. My family got sick on our vacation and our San Blas beach vacation was cancelled. At least, for them. I am currently in the process of trying to reschedule it with some friends in a few months.

2. I lost a check of nearly $2,000 for my latrine project. After 4 hours and visiting 5 different offices at the Panamanian police station, I was informed that I needed to file a legal document, prepared by a lawyer, and declare in civil court, with said lawyer, in front of a judge, that my check is lost. PC is trying to see if there is any support that they can provide for me on the Washington side of things.

3. I have not one, but two different fungi infections on my skin. (yummy) I think I am going to be in the city for another 7 days. The longest I have ever been in the city before this tr…