Saturday, September 23, 2006


Cultural Week: check. Starting to learn a lil´ bit of the indigenous language Ngabere (ñantori is hello . . . ti ka jessica, ti nune virginiate) and what it is really like to live with no privacy and 3 small children who watch your every move . . . and no electricity (which i have been spoiled with in the training community) . . . and something (bat? mammoth moth? *?) flying above my bed and nose diving at me (me darting beneath my sheet and continuing to sweat to death but fear kept me tucked underneath until several hours later) . . . explaining the evils of factory farming in spanish to my host family (how the heck did we get on that topic???) . . . and teaching a tough crowd of fourth graders about nutrition (their shyness must have prevented them from throwing those cut-out paper tomatoes at me). Happily recovering in Boquete, a beautiful mountain town with lots of flowers, coffee, strawberries, and cool temps. Oh, and what do ya know, baked brie.

Friday, September 08, 2006

An Adventure Almost Fit for Nat´l Geo

Last weekend was volunteer visit and really my first opportunity to go out and i mean OUT into Panama! It only took 1-hr bus, 7-hr bus, 3-hr bus, 10-min taxi, and a 2-hr boat ride (tired yet?) to make it to my final destination, but a quaint village of houses on stilts on the coast of the carribbean filled with friendly folk and inquisitive kids was the reward. The volunteer there was finishing up her service, and I heard nothing but appreciation for her work and sadness for her leaving.

I also had the opportunity to travel to another volunteer site via a 30-min near death aka waves and choppy water boat ride where i preceded to become completely soaking wet. This volunteer and his community have created an impressive finca with pineapples, yucca, platanos, tomatoes, cukes, fish tanks, and egg-laying hens to name a few. A resident also brought us what is essentially turtle meat jerky to try (disclaimer: i´m not endorsing the cosumption of turtle, avoid if possible because they are an endangered species).

Anyways, as you might have guessed, I made it back safe and sound to my host family. Training continues.