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.

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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.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Next few weeks

I promise to get some pictures up one of these days. Last week I was a facilitator at a 4-day conference called "Strengthening Water Committees." If it sounds vague, that's because it was. The way I see it, we missed a huge opportunity to actually tackle existing problems between rural water committees, Peace Corps, and the Ministry of Health (MINSA). Instead, it turned out to be a mixed soup of MINSA reps repeating the exisiting rules, rural water reps bashfully lying, and Peace Corps jumping in and being cut off with "Yes, but..." Not the easiest place to be a facilitator, nor a conference planner. Glad I didn't allow conference planning to be dumped on me the last minute by the office, like I knew would happen. After two years one starts to learn.

The new Environmental Health group of 16 boys and 2 girls are currently down here training (God help them). Next week I'm going out to the Comarca Ngabe-Bugle with them for a week to help run Tech Week (Field Based Training). During the mornings we'll be building a composting latrine and in the afternoons they'll have lessons on aqueduct theory, construction and maintenance. Against my advice, we are going back to the exact same site as last year. (More on this after I'm down with Peace Corps since I'm not allowed to say anything bad about Peace Corps on this blog.)

After that week, I'll have a couple of days in my site before our last regional meeting, closing medical evaluations, and the final week of paper signing. Highlights that week include a luncheon with the U.S. Ambassador Barbara Stevenson and a final group party. I´m officially done October 16th and on the 17th I'm flying to Peru with Loyda for a month. Leaving on the next day makes me nervous because I know the Peace Corps office will screw up the money they owe me. Like I ended my last post, counting the days, counting the days.....


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