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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Trip to "The Valley"

Last month Loyda and I took a trip to El Valle de Antón (The Valley of Anton) which was formed when a volcano blew its top over 1,000 years ago. This area is known for its cool climate, flowers, hot springs, and wildlife. Here I am walking around the grounds of the zoo. The landscape reminded me a lot of Ireland.
The weather here is in the mid 70s-low 80s year round, sort of an eternal spring.
Beautiful grounds at the zoo, plus we were the only ones there.
Overlooking the valley at sunset and watching the evening clouds roll in.
The zoo posts some really weird and ugly species. This one must have gotten out of his cage. At least I think it's a "he."
My beautiful tour guide.
The flower market downtown.
These flowers are called vereneros which mean "summer flowers." They come in a full range of colors and bloom for a couple of months. Parrot cages are in the background.
Loyda and I had a great time on this little trip and we are looking forward to being tour guides to a very special visitor that is coming in April.
Most zoos in Latin America are very depressing places. This one was a little better, but still kind of depressing, but it crossed as a spectacular garden as well.
The catholic chuch in El Valle.
Piedra Pintada or "Painted Rocks." These are pre-Columbian maps that might actually be rechalked by local kids to help the tourists from getting lost....he he.
At the Painted Rocks. If you are wondering why I have the same shirt on in all the pictures, it's because I'm a pig like that. Why dirty more than one shirt?
Mud bath at a spa.
This species is a type of "bird of paradise" I'm told. Reminds me of my old house in Bocas has I had these all over my front yard. Oh yeah, on a sad note, my camera injured itself and is currently undergoing surgery in the US. Hopefully he will recover quickly and make it back down here soon.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Last couple of weeks

Doing Yoga with the kids. Here is Carolina (11), Araselis (14), and Flor or "Nini" (10).
Loyda came for a visit the other day and slept....
and slept....
and slept. I think she had a good time.
An old picture I dug up taken in the highlands of Cerro Punta.
This is my neighbor Bella (6) and one of my best friends. Here she's showing off her "babies."
At the Wuonaan Congreso. The Wuonaan are an indigenous group and meet every 5 years with their heads of state to make the laws for the next five years. I came to watch but somehow we got on stage to explain how Peace Corps can work with the Wuonaan. The girl in the middle, Joanna, lives in this village and they love to paint her.
It was funny. Their last point of business was to decide where to have the next congreso. First they voted on how they were going to vote. After 4 different communities were decided, they lined up under each one to count heads.
The congreso featured competitive dances and songs at night. Three judges (think American Idol) gave their 1-10 ratings. Many local magazine photographers came out for this special experience.
We ran into this Aussie trying to drive from Alaska to Argentina and thru the Darien Gap. Personally I think he's crazy for not just boating it to Columbia. Don't know where he is going to find Aussie bike parts (or a road for that matter). He was in town to hire a Wounaan guide.