Sunday, August 27, 2006

August 25th

A year ago takes me back to Michigan and afternoon with DAD at Copper Harbor followed by an evening with new friends (later to become some of the best!). Today I again find myself surrounded by new folks. But 3 Feliz Cumpleanos serenades, 2 cake-and-ice-cream occasions, and 1 mini-fiesta with my host family, friends, and neighbors made a stranger and foreigner feel welcomed and loved on her birthday.

2 Perspectives

Yo vivo en el campo. The training site (essentially where I live for the next 10 weeks) is a quiet, rural community with rolling hills. My host family is determined to please and make sure sure I am never lonely. Some may think I am spoiled as I lift no finger in order to be fed, laundry washed, and own room. The community watches over me and the other aspirantes like a hawk--they know where everyone lives and what funny remarks we have made. Days are busy with Spanish class on a neighbor´s back porch and technical class under a rancho among banana trees. Evenings are filled with pasear (sit-talk-awkward silence-repeat), perhaps un juego de futbol or learning to dance el tipico, and hw (yep and lots of it). It´s all so exhausting and since it gets dark by 6:30 I go to bed at 9:30 under my princess mosquito net.

OR . . . it is like a bad high school dream . . . my host mom won´t let me help out with anything . . . smelly pit latrine . . . cold, dark shower--good thing it is extremely hot and humid here, huh? . . . I can talk to my host family, but I can´t really talk to them. Crossing cultural borders is no easy task.

I prefer the former.

Culture craziness note: diablo rojos--scary, pimped out public trans buses complete with shark fins and strobe lights.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Your pants can save your life

"We're going to have a swim test. Wear pants." WHAT?!? Yep, I had to jump in the pool with my pants on, take them off while treading water, tie a knot in the legs, and fling them over my head. The result was quite amazing--air caught as I flung the pants over my head and wallah . . a flotation device.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Signing off from the "homefront"

Staging is complete and tomorrow our group of 37 trainees fly to Panama City! Family and friends, I will miss you greatly, but please be happy for me, the Lord has led me here, and I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Shabby Chicks and then some

Much thanks to Mary, Stacey, Anne-Marie, and Olaf for making the trek out to see me yesterday. May I suggest a certain tropical destination for Yr 5?

Gracias a mi mama para su ayuda en preparando la cena. Tambien gracias a Nora y Mama Beny para sus presencia y amor. Thanks Dad for recounting the correct version of our climb to Angel’s Landing.

And should I thank Stefan for the courteous hello, and dismiss the curt departure? Just kidding, I know that’s your style. Remember: two years to fulfill the favor . . . see you in Panama!

Monday, August 07, 2006

t-minus 1 week

T-minus one week 'til staging. Something strange has happened over the last couple of days . . . I'm excited!!! After a blah time in Montana and a huge fear of not being ready/wanting to leave for Panama, I am ready and equipped with no expectations, only a good helping of curiosity.