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, February 13, 2008

Still kicking & photos to prove it

These are the "culecos" during Carnival (think Mardi Gras without beads). There are parades, street dances, water spraying...overall locura (craziness).
The tradition is that the two sides of town (High Street and Low Street, or rich vs. poor) compete with their represented queens, bands and floats.
Playa del Toro near Pedesí where Mick Jagger, Brad and Angelina, Mel Gibson, and many other famous people are buying land.
The juvenil world series (ages 16-18) between Chiriqui and Panamá Oeste. International scouts come in groves. It occurred to me the other day how much people pay to visit the beaches that I can enjoy for free. Aren't I mean? This beach is called Punta Barco (Boat Point).

Fisherman returning for the day.
I went to translate for a medical mission performing eye surgeries in the Darien.
This particular surgery was to remove cataracts. This elderly women suffered from blindness due to cataracts for the past seven years. I helped her walk out of the operation room 30 mins later where she saw her grandkids for the first time.
Two other volunteers and I served as translators in this particular room. Here are my new neighboors Melissa (10 mins) and Jennifer (45 mins).
My new room. My bed is made of wood with a 2" foam pad to sleep on. I have a gas burner to cook but there is no electricity so I eat pretty basic.
This is my water tap and shower and I use my neighbor's latrine. The water here isn't potable for me but I filter it to drink. Each person with a tap is supposed to pay $1/month.
My neighbor preparing Iguana for dinner. The iguana is semi-endangered in this area (Editor's Update: iguanas are actually, come to find out, very endangered and illegal to hunt. They taste good though). They come down to the sand by the rivers to lay their eggs in Jan and Feb and thus are hunted by dogs for their rich meat. Some places people farm iguanas to sell.
The view from my new house.
This is my new house which I'm sharing with the school teacher and the landlord's daughter. We each have private rooms and split the rent of $20/month. Oh by the way...this pictures are to prove I am actually working. It's just that it's hard to pull out a $300 camera to take pictures of a child who is hungry if you know what I mean. Hence most of my pictures are from my vacations.