Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Saying Goodbye

For most of you this entry comes as no surprise. I have one week remaining in Peace Corps Panama! I could ask where the time has gone but I think we all know the answer quite well. To answer a few generic questions I anticipate receiving at some point in the near future:
1. Yes, I am excited to come home.
2. Yes, my service and time in Panama was fulfilling and life changing.
3. Yes, I have plans for after Peace Corps - Graduate School.
4. University of Washington in Seattle where I will be a Masters in Public Affairs Candidate.
5. I want to study urban education and education reform as a long term goal.
6. This summer will be spent primarily in New Jersey with family and friends.

I am sure there will be more but that should satisfy the bulk of questions most people will ask initially. Things are going well here, I have had all the closure I need to be able to move forward. After here I will be heading to Colombia for a two week romp as I backpack through Cartagena, Medellin and Bogota. I fly home June 16th and will be home until the end of summer. Somewhere in the end of August I will be driving out west to Washington state to move to Seattle for school. Life is good and the future seems even better.

I have decided to move my blogging experience onto a different site. You can follow me at the following link as I journey to yet another city for the next phase of my life:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Where Did The Panamanian Summer Go?!

December flew by as I was fortunate enough to spend the Holidays with Myles's and his family in Los Angeles. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of my trip because we were on the move the entire time. Needless to say his family was amazingly gracious in letting me spend Christmas with them and making me feel so welcome. Myles gave me a great tour of the area and we got to go to a hockey game. Right before leaving we got to see Valeria, my good friend from Peace Corps Panama who recently moved to Venice Beach in L.A. with her new family. I have been fortunate enough to see her and her beautiful baby Nico twice in a year since she left Panama!
January came and went in a flash starting with Mom and Dana's awesome visit and ending with a visit from two of the newest trainees in Peace Corps Panama coming to my community for a week. Mom and Dana spent a week with me hanging out on the beach and relaxing in the hammock. Dana went fishing and caught tons of fish, obviously. "Dora the Explorer ain't got nothin' on her!" We got to meet up with Myles and my friend Mary on her beach for a day as well. It is fun to have our own car for a week, Panama is really not that big. Mid-January I had some training of trainers sessions to attend for up-coming seminars and got the chance to catch up with some volunteers I have not seen in a while. All-in-all January is a distant memory now.
February is slipping through my fingers as I write this...Grandpa and Grandma came down for a visit the first week of the month and we started February with a bang! They are crazy-brave travelers with no qualms about exploring dangerous cities in foreign lands. Sadly enough I was very busy with work during their visit so I could only meet up for meals! It was great to see them and catch up on each other's lives. They are fabulous and hilarious.
Both weeks of teacher training seminars went really well. We raised all the necessary money for our Primary School Seminar! I would like to extend a special THANK YOU to those of you who so generously put forth donations to help our project come to fruition. It means a lot and the teachers were incredibly grateful for the special English teaching training and resources. There was actually money left over that we are going to put toward kits full of English teaching resources for other Elementary School teachers in rural areas of Panama.
On to other good news - I am 3/3 for graduate program acceptances! The first three schools to contact me have said "Come on down, you are the next contestant on the..." oh wait, wrong daydream there, my bad. But seriously, I was accepted to University of Missouri, University of Arizona, and University of Maryland. All fun choices. It is still early and I have three more schools left to hear from...I am hoping one school gives me a bunch of money so my decision will be made for me!

All right, enough updates. Enjoy the pictures!
 Sweet Reunion! Success!!!
 Sunrise on my beach.
 Yeah Mama C in the house!

 Can you untie the human knot?!
 Saying goodbye to our English professors after a fun week!

 Yay! Pictionary!!!

 My teachers from the Burica Peninsula!
 Trust Building Activity! Woohoo!
 All of our lovely Primary School Teachers.
 The delicious cake we bought for the last day celebration!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Help a sister out!

We Need Your Help!!!

Six Panama Peace Corps Volunteers (including your's truly) are trying to raise funds for the project described below. We need to raise our funds in the next week so please pass this on to friends, family, co-workers, or strangers with the urge to help us out!

A group of six of us are currently working on a Teacher Training Seminar for Panamanian Elementary School teachers who are now forced to teach English without any English background. We are trying to raise enough money to bring all of our counterparts out to a local city for a week long training with accompanying support materials they will be able to use in their classrooms. This project has taken quite a long time to put together/coordinate and we are all very excited. If you are interested in donating any amount of money at all it will be greatly appreciated.

**How to DONATE:
2. On the left-hand-side page guide click on Donate to Volunteer Projects
3. Enter the name Seliga under the space for name or project number. (It is the last name of the volunteer in our group who posted the grant online so our friends and family can donate to our project!) Underneath you will see our short description and more information on how to make a donation.

Feel free to spread the word to friends you think may be interested in making a donation! Thank you all for your support.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Day in the Life of Bert (and Lincoln)

 Bert harassing a sleeping Cait.
 No dice, Cait was passed out. So he moved on to a new victim...
 Lincoln is sunbathing and just wants to cuddle...
 Bert, bored of cuddling starts to give in to his annoying urges...
 Lincoln refuses to give in to his petulant behavior and tries to enjoy what is left of the sunny day...
 Bert can't handle not being notices, so he attacks his EARS!
 To no avail, Lincoln is just too tired to fight back...
 Bert decides to play nice and spend some quality sunbathing time with his older brother.
 But eventually the paws start to sneak their way back to Lincoln...Bert can't help it!
 It is you know where your kids are?
 Sure, mine is CLIMBING up the screen window because I won't play with him while I study...
Finally it is bed time and he waits in the entrance to my bedroom for quality cuddle time with his mama.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life since October.

These pictures range from Cait and Alan's fabulous visit in Mid-October to the Youth Day I had in the Elementary School, November 10th. Caitlin, Alan, Myles, and Gretchen spent time in rural parts of Panama until Myles and I had to go to the All Volunteer Conference for the last three days of their trip. Awesome timing Peace Corps, no really WAY TO GO!
We had an awesome time from getting stuck in the mud on my beach - 5 point bonus goes to Panama's rainy season, to watching my animals beat each other up then fall in love all over again, and finally ending in paradise in an awesome rental beach house where we all felt like celebs!
My youth day was based on morals and values. I had the pleasure of hosting some five awesome friends in my house for what was meant to be a day. The 10th was a Panamanian holiday and I never ended up having any transportation so they were all stuck in my house for an extra night! I forgot how much I love having people around. It was a great mix of people and we had a blast.

I am currently in the States at Cait and Alan's house. What luck, getting to see my Caitface and Alan Salad twice in two months.   It reminds me of college and I can't wait to be back in America with a job again so I can do trips like this more often! I took the GRE, I did well and now will complete my graduate school applications once and for all so I can be stress free while I wait for results. (Yeah find the logic in that! I am going to be a nervous wreck but who cares if I don't get in. I will work anywhere!)  I will be posting a special entry tomorrow with fun pictures of my baby boys tomorrow. For now, let the celebrations begin - I am done with the GRE. YAY!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Love and miss you all. Holla at a player.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Birthdays and Roadtrips!

Myles and I decided to use some vacation days, rent a car and enjoy the freedom of the road this past weekend. Myles got to surf a bit at a beach near by although the weather was crumby. 
We got to spend some time in a friend's Peace Corps community for one of the most cultural festivals in Panama. It was amazing from the singing, dresses, dances and bull fights! The weekend was a lot of fun and I am so content with our decision to go on vacation in Panama. Tonight we are going to celebrate the birth of Mr. Shuler with some Monday Night Football: Packers vs. Bears!!!! Wooohooo. Cait and Alan come in a little over a week and I can't really express my excitement. A post will follow in the weeks to come. Stay cool, as I sweat my behind off! Peace and Love from Panama.