Saturday, August 23, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
This is the after picture. Everything was sold, even the bananas and platanos that were left hanging
After the feria there is a little parade through the center of town. They were really excited that we were taking pictures of it because they have never had pictures of it before so we are going to print some out for them.
The second set is the coffee made by the coffee beneficio in Santa Fe.
The final one is a gourd that has a ridged part and comes with a fork-like thing with long skinny tines that you rub across the ridged part for rhythm. The band is called Conjunto Folklorico Benjamin Rodriguez. They played at a culture night that we had the first week and the afternoon of the closing ceremony. Some of them had made their own instruments. In the background of this picture you can see how they do their floors sometimes. That is just cement but on the top layer they make it smooth and add colors. I have seen green, red, and yellow.
This is Lee dancing the cumbia at the closing ceremony. Dancing and music are a big part of the culture here in Panama. If you had lived in Panama for a year you would dance the cumbia too. Everyone just moves in a circle dancing with the man on the inside and the lady on the outside so she will have room to swing her skirt like the lady on the far left. Every couple of minutes the music changes up and then it is time to spin and revolve around your partner. Then it settles back to shuffling in a circle. Lee is also wearing the awesome baseball hats that we had made for the seminar. It has the Peace Corps logo and a logo that Lee created for the agribusiness program.
This is Lee with Nate and some of the kids in front of Nate´s house. Nate told the little boy to act like he was punching Lee.
Nate´s gas tank had run out a few days before we arrived so we made little camp fires outside to cook over. We made a mixture of rice, raman noodles, beans, soya, etc. and fried eggs for supper. We made pancakes from scratch for breakfast.
On my birthday morning we went to see one of the waterfalls. There is about a 5 minute hike to get there and they give you a walking stick so you do not slip on the rocks.
Birthday afternoon was at the beach. I love the beach rain or shine, cold or hot. I will let you guess whether Lee feels the same way or not. I took this picture on my way into the water. It was sprinkling and a little cool but the water was nice and warm. We ate supper at the restaurant behind Lee in this picture. The seafood was fresh and delicous like it usually is in Panama.
Here is the link to Lee´s blog. He takes good pictures and has an eye for things that are interesting, beautiful, and-or weird. Those of you who know Lee will not be surprised to find that his blog has fewer words than mine. By fewer I mean none other than the titles of the pictures. Classic Lee.
They like sleeping on their food bucket too.
They were sleeping on the window sill yesterday. Above the window is a piece of zinc that Lee put up to cover the hole that the kitties were using to get in at night. Last night we only heard them bump into it one time and meow a little bit before they went to sleep.
The orange and black one is named Mister Johnny in honor of one of Lee´s former co-workers at Publix in Albany, Georgia. If anyone from Albany reads this can you pass along the story to him. Lee really enjoyed working with him and he still tells Mr. Johnny stories. Oh, she did turn out to be a girl though so we shorten it to Johnny most of the time. The other one with more white fur is a girl too but we are still working on her name. There are a few Spanish names still in the runnig but this would be a good chance to teach our community another English name. I have called her Sweet Pea a few times and that might stick... We´ll see. I was singing that song on the porch yesterday when Severiano came to visit. Lee saw him approaching and did not warn me so I turned around mid baw-chica-baw-chica-na-na-na to see Severiano arriving in our yard and laughing at me. It seemed appropriate though because we always laugh with him and his family. He laughed really hard later when we were explaining the postal system in the U.S. to him and Lee acted out how some of the rural delivery people sit on the right side of the car and put the mail in the boxes (which they do not have here) while driving with their left arm and left leg.
We went to a reception at the Ambassador´s house to celebrate 45 years of Peace Corps in Panama.
This is me with the Ambassador, William Eaton.
Then we have the fancy outfits. I had to get a dress because I did not have anything nice enough to wear. I even wore high-healed shoes for the first time in years. Lee is looking schnazzy in his picture with a Great Dane and a Chihuahua. We did not get any good pictures of the two of us the night of the reception so I put my outfit on the next morning for a picure. Lee did not so we will have to settle for this picure of Lee missing half his head featuring a comical pairing of dogs.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
This is our first host mom in site, Angela. On the end of her stick is the scorpion that stung me. Lee was not there at the time but some of the kids were on the porch and I was taking a shower. I grabbed my towel without looking at it and a scorpion stung me. When I pulled the towel away it dropped off and ran out of the shower. I asked the kids where the scorpions make their homes and the came right back there with machetes cutting back the grass to look for him. They could not find him but over the next couple of hours 4 or 5 different people from the community visited me and brought me the herbal remedies that they use. Oh, and they sat with me for the first 3o minutes or so after the sting because that is when you find out if you are going to get violently ill or not. We have 2 main types of scorpions in our site and I was pretty sure it was not the bad one but since nobody got a good look at it they wanted to make sure. When Angela came by to check on me she asked where it had happened I took her back there and showed her and she said, "Sometimes they get right under here" as she grabbed a stick and started poking. After about 4 jabs she came up with a scorpion on the end of her stick and asked if that was it. That was it indeed. I took a picture and that is the day she became my hero.
Here are some photos from when we hosted a volunteer visit. At about week 3 in training they send all of the trainees out to visit volunteers. You find your way there by yourself and you spend about 4 days seeing what volunteer life is really like. We had a couple, Isaac and Melissa, visit and it was pretty awesome. We made a different type of compost pile, we visited some farms, talked to a lot of people from the community, and we found time to go swimming. We did a lot of hiking but I think they enjoyed it. I thought the hike in might scare them a little so I arranged for the car to bring them in. I was coming back from Santa Fe that day too so I met them on the chiva. When we got to the store, they had taken the car to run an errand so we went to eat lunch at a fonda (small restaurant) and came back to check. The car still was not there and they seemed to want to do part of the hike so I told him we would go ahead and start walking and the car could just catch up with us when he got back. Melissa grabbed her backpack but Isaac and I left all of our stuff there for the truck to bring. About 10 minutes into the hike it started raining. It was kind of nice because I would have been wet with sweat anyway and this way I was cooler. I kept thinking that we would hear the car coming any minute but we never did. Before I knew it we were arriving at the house. We started cooking supper and waiting for the truck but by about 5:00 when it still had not shown up I was starting to get worried. I had the phone # to the tienda of the owners of the car but it was in my bag that I had left at the tienda. We started asking around the community to see if anyone knew the number but they didn't. Finally, I had the idea to call our regional leader and tell him the situation and see if he could get ahold of them. That is definitely above and beyond the call of duty of the regional leader but Brandon is awesome and he was willing to help us out. After a series of phone calls and misunderstandings things were taken care of. The truck came at about 6:30 the next morning and everything was fine. All of this may have been a little traumatic for some trainees but these guys seemed to take it all in stride. We jumped right in the first day and gathered materials and made the awesome compost pile in the first picture. We have never made one like this on a raised floor before but it is supposed to create a convection current and allow the compost to, well...compost faster.