Panamerican Proceeding

Lend me an ear and you will hear the rants and raves of this volunteer. "Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer" says Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle (parden the pun), but perhaps no one is crazier either. Why do we care so much? Herein lies a glimpse of my Pan-American experience.

My Photo
Location: Bocas Del Toro, Panama Este, Panama

The proceeding 'Panamerican' is a Master's International Student and Peace Corps Volunteer. Disclaimer: Contents are the author's viewpoints only, (need to stress only), and many may have been written on particularly poor days.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Random pics from a random life

Our group, #58, celebrated our one-year anniversary this past week at an all-inclusive resort. It was pretty hard to take, but we deserve it.
Kevin, Kelly, Adam, Ryu and I in the swim-up bar.

The pool/bar overlooking the Pacific.
Playing a little ball.
Last week I was in Chepo working with the Ministry of Health in their regional office. Here I explain some finer points of concrete mixing to a group of contractors invited to participate to a seminar that was put on. We were trying to show the difference between a wet and dry mix.
After the conference, I raced to Panama City of participate in Group 60´s swear-in ceremony. The U.S. Ambassador to Panama swears in 36 new volunteers.
Adam, Melissa, Kevin and Joe hanging out after the ceremony.
Of course, there was a crazy party afterward. Don't ask.
Chilling out on Victoria's patio for our private one-year celebration. Shazia lives in Colon and Casey lives in the Comarca Ngäbe-Bugle.
On October 5th, we concluded our water committee training seminar. The two participates from my town, Pres Francisco Abrego and VP Fabio Thomas show off their completion certificates.
On October 10th I moved into my new community, San Francisco de Piriatí, in the province of Panama Este. This is my host family´s home, Felix and Isabel and their son, Sergio.
The school of San Francisco. There are two classrooms and a small kindergarten with three teachers. In total, about 400 people live in the vicinity.
Two weekends ago I traveled up to Colon province with Victoria to visit Michelle (fellow WIer) to help with a water collection system. We snuck away this morning to the beach. It was my first time visiting this particular province in Panamá.
Ken, a Crisis Corps volunteer and former PC vol in Bolivia, and I hiked up to San Francisco to verify a few points and to see the future water source. We were lead by my host dad (in white) and a few others. In all, the aqueduct line will be about 8km and is budgeted for $130,000. Compare this to my 2km, $4,000 project I built in Bocas. What a day, we left at 5am, hiked the 8km up and back and got back home around 7pm. I was so exhausted and dehydrated, probably the most exhausted I've felt down here.
Joe took this picture of me and some neighbor kids during my last week in my old site. That week we started the water tank and Joe lived with me all week while we were working.
Here José and I started tying the rebar for the tank. It is 9' x 9' and will hold 3,500 gallons.
I really miss the kids.
Pour day. When I left the floor was done, but it is apparently taking forever to finish the walls and roof. Poor Joe. He is hiking over everyday but people just aren't showing up to work. He says he knows now why I left my site, and is very frustrated with my old community.
This sloth was just 'hanging out' right next to the tank construction.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm still here

Hey everyone, I'm still here (but no longer there). Here is Panama; there is my old site. I moved to my new site on the other side of the country, it went great, and now I'm keeping myself busy working until my vacation is coming up. I don't have any fancy pictures or major rants at this time, but I always have stories. And you know how I love to tell stories. Give me a week or so to collect pictures, and I'll try to post during my one-year medical examinations next week. Maybe I'll even have a story or two for you then.