Friday, January 16, 2009

Panama Verde

This is the Panama Verde group with the trash can that they built.  This is the first public trash can in the community.  They are learning about trash management and environmental conservation and I am learning along with them.  Imagine if you did not have trash pickup and you had to figure out how to manage your garbage without contaminating your yard or your farm or your drinking water.  Most people in the community burn their trash (which can be bad for their health and for the environment).  We used to burn ours too but now we are using a landfill system at our house.

Healthy little girl

This is a cute, healthy little girl.  Her mom said that she almost died when she was a baby because of a scorpion sting.  They hiked her out to the hospital.  

Lazy Monkey

This is a sloth with her baby in our back yard.  They are called lazy monkeys in Spanish.

Orchid Tour

We got invited to a house during Orchid season.  They had over 25 different types of orchids in bloom.  This is one of the families who is not connected to an aqueduct.  The mom hauls 5 gallon buckets of water up from the stream behind their house 3-5 times a day.

The picture of Lee and the kids was not posed.  Lee squats like that a lot.  I just turned around and the kids were right beside him doing the same thing.


A pretty sunset from the hill in front of our house.  And some little purple bananas.

Harvesting Oranges

I spy a kid in a tree...


The community was pretty excited when the cats made it onto the roof.  That meant that they were starting to become hunters.  Cats are prized for their mouse and rat hunting skills.  If a cat manages to stay alive until adulthood and can hunt people will ask to borrow the cat or buy the cat and some families even give them milk as a reward.


This is Oso (or Osito).  He is pretty much the best dog in the world.  He is so sweet and playful and smart.  He lives about 5 minutes up the road from us but he comes down to our house every day because he likes us.  I know that he comes because he likes us because for a long time we didn't feed him.  He is one of the few dogs in our community who is actually well-fed.  He sleeps outside of our door every night and helps take care of the house.  He also goes with us on short and long journeys.  He went with us on a 5 hour hike one time.  While we were in the states for 3 weeks we found out that he still came to our house every night and slept outside our door to take care of the house.  Now I give him a little food whenever I give the cats their food even though I know they feed him well at his other house.  Anybody know what kind of dog he is?

Another world map

We went to another volunteer's site where Lee drew another world map at the school.  There is nothing better than a cold coke out of a glass bottle on a hot day.  They cost 35 cents here.  How much are they in the states?

Slight incline

This is a leaf that I found on the ground and a sign that you do not want to see when you are lost and you just got off the chiva at the bottom of a hill/mountain and the people you just asked for directions pointed that way and said you would have to go up... Luckily another chiva came along so we didn't have to walk all the way up that fierce incline.

Fearless guide

This is our fearless guide Teodoro and some of his sons.   This is the second awesome waterfall he has taken us to.  In unrelated news, he remembers when he was a little boy and they used to kill the tucans and cut their beaks off to make arrows for hunting.


This is the conejo pintado (paca) in the old bamboo house.  The group built them a nice new cage with cement and zinc before the paca massacre of 2008.  I will eventually post pictures of that.  The new cage, not the massacre...

River Crossing

Lee and Nate crossing the river when Nate came to visit us.  The kids ask about him a lot because he is in an indigenous site and they are curious about the Ngobes.  They like to ask things like "What do they eat where Nate is?  Does Nate get scared?  Does Nate file his teeth?"

Baking Day

The kids came over to teach us how to make yuca tortillas.  This is the inside of our kitchen.  Someone always ends up with a face full of flour on baking day...

More photos from Isla Grande

One Year In Site

This is from our 1-year-in-site trip.  We took the train to Colon.  Then we were supposed to take a bus and a boat to the island.  Well, there was a bus strike so we were stuck at the Colon bus terminal.  Our safety and security coordinator stepped in pretty quickly and contacted the Police department in Colon.  They came and made multiple trips to get all of us and all of our stuff to the police station where we hung out for about 4 hours while they got us our own bus to take us to the dock.  There was plenty of time for sleeping and playing games.