Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'ma hop on you like a spider monkey!

Tell me that is not adorable and I will reconsider our relationship, friend or family - no exceptions on this one folks!
The love of my life, Kika. This little spider monkey loved me as much as I loved her!
Another view of the village coming from the river.

Getting off the boat we took to get to the village.
Volunteers around Panama.
Two of my amazing roommates, Ayla and Valeria. Ayla is from Southern Louisiana and in the Enviro Conservation program, Valeria is from Miami and in the Agriculture program.
Two other amazing roommates Becca and Katie! Becca is in the Enviro Conservation program, Katie (my roommate in D.C. also!) is from Illinios and in the Tourism program with me.
Two other amazing roommates Natalie and Gretchen, oh that's right you guys know me... Natalie is from Oregon and in the Tourism program as well.
Our group of 47 making our way to Immigration.

Today was probably one of the best days I have had in quite a long time. We had a site visit with a current volunteer working in an indigenous community. He lives in a beautiful village an hour outside of Panama City, Empera Quera. The people are wonderful, the food was good and the sun was shining. People were laying in hammocks on their open decks (houses) and kids were playing futbol. He has a cat and I am going to get one as well. Most volunteers have either a cat or dog, I don't want to have to worry when I travel so I believe a cat is my best option...we shall see.
The art work the village makes to sell is gorgeous. It was really nice for my sector to be able to get out and bond like that. The people in my entire program are awesome.
I got to play with a spider monkey for about 3 hours. She loved me and I fell in love with her. You can buy them for under $20 because they are normally either eaten or sold on the black market. I really want to see where I end up getting placed....if I am able to I want to get one. I felt like a child again, so alive. One of the young guys in the village came up to me as I was leaving and told me to take his gift (a mango) because I am beautiful. It was really cute and my group got a good laugh out of it.
Tonight dinner was great, so much energy in the group as we all came together after our separate days. Each sector loved their excursion and loves their assignment! Such an awesome feeling. Tomorrow we are going to head to our training site and it will be awhile until I can write again. I am very excited to get to live in a Latino community so I have something to compare the indigenous community with...
We get to travel a lot during training, so different from Georgia. We get a 3 days to go to a current volunteer's site on our own in May, a technical week where we live in a volunteer's village and a cultural week where we live in yet another volunteer's village! Awesome. The other two sectors, just an FYI, are Agricultural Sustainability and Environmental Conservation. I am thoroughly looking forward to doing cross sector work to better promote Eco Tourism. Every volunteer we have met so far absolutely loves it here. They all love their villages and their jobs, most of the time. haha. Let's be honest a job is still a job on some days! :)
I am praying my spanish gets better FAST. haha. I will try my best to find internet a couple times during training but I make no guarantees!
I love and miss you all.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 2

We are currently in La Ciudad deSaber. We are on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal and can see it from where we are staying this week. Orientation goes until the 27th and then we move on to Santa Clara for training. Training lasts until mid- July.
So far I have been viciously attacked by every mosquito in the vicinity. I suppose that is their way of welcoming me! haha. I am staying with 5 other girls from the group (there are 47 of us). They are all very sweet and fun. We have meetings all week but it should be good and hopefully give us a chance to get to know everyone. Staging was so short and traveling so long yesterday that we really still do not know each other -- I definitely have yet to meet everyone.
There are many more forms for this program versus Georgia. This is a good and bad thing. haha. My spanish is LACKING. But it will come back, I am not too worried. However, there are many people here on top of their game. I am happy so many people speak it well because it will make it better for me to re-learn.
We all have to take Malaria pills and I am pretty scared to have nightmares. It will be fine, I just hope I don't have a negative reaction to the pills.
Ok off to our meetings. Adios!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Staging One More Time Now.

I took the Amtrak train to D.C. yesterday morning. Got in around noon and Clint picked me up to take me to my hotel. What a sweetheart, right?
Staging was over in a blink of an eye this time around. 4 hours compared to 2 days. Craziness! My roommate and I went to dinner with Clint. It was nice to be able to see him again before I left. We went back and passed out pretty soon after. We had to check out of our hotel at 2am. And have now been at the airport since is 6:45am and our plane boards in 15 minutes. I am really happy with my group, everyone is really chill. Panama should e a great location for us all. I hope it works out well.
I am excited somewhere deep down but kind of just going through the motions, prepared for it all to end at any minute. I guess that is what happens when you are a bit jaded from a prior experience. Getting to Panama and beginning training will be good for me.
Thanks to everyone for your support. I love you all and miss you already.

Monday, April 20, 2009


So, I suck at blogging. We all know this...GET OFF MY BACK YO.
I got home from Telluride and promptly started enjoying the company of friends and family, family friends and friends of the family. Awesome times. Really.
Went to Philly to see Timbo. DUH.
Went to New York to see my homies. DUH.
Easter weekend we got to chill with old friends from home and of course have an Easter Egg Hunt at Mommom's. Super Duper. (I won of course...we all know Tim is the weakest link)
Karimah joined us for the oh so special holiday. She joined us for the egg finding competition. I would also like to add that Tim CHEATED by hiding my egg under a pile of DIRT AND STICKS!!!! And his response when caught - if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'. Super duper. Clearly he was raised right (way to go mom!)
Time flew by and before I knew it Tim and I were "road trippin" to see our beloved Daner Lynn. In only God knows where VA. Her friends were awesome and we had a fabulous time. We held hands, made camp fires and became blood siblings....well ok, it wasn't freakin' summer camp. We played "pong", watched Dana hit some balls, ate fried pickles and saw a waterfall.
On our way back we got stuck in traffic, Tim lost his mind and our friendship ended. We are now only siblings. Mom was upset but figures with me leaving for 2 years we might have a shot at fixing things one day. We always get along better when I am out of the picture anyhow. Tim really thrives with one-sided relationships.
Ok, ok clearly a lot of that paragraph is a fierce exaggeration. The traffic wasn't THAT bad.
I went BACK to NYC that night. Yeah, that's right...THAT NIGHT. Because I do what I want. I got to see lots of people. We made lots of memories. And I left Sunday morning.
Sunday afternoon I went to Philly with Uncle George...we went to an awesome concert. Handel, Bach, Bloch and Telemann -- the Kimmel Center is pretty ridiculous. Cool. We then went to dinner with Aunt Kimba.
As I arrived home, Kate Stokes and DC arrived!!! They stopped along the way, as they are "road trippin" as well. It was awesome to see someone from Telluride...on the East Coast!
I leave tomorrow morning for Staging in D.C. and fly out the next morning for Pananamanamanamama. I AM SO EXCITED. For the record, I have lost my mind. COMPLETELY.

Love you all. Peace OUT.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March Madness to April Fools

So I began to pack up my apartment and figure out the logistics of getting to Denver. I gave away over 8 bags worth of clothing etc. to the free box. I felt like I was the Salvation Army and maybe a Soup Kitchen all in one with all of the stuff I gave to people. Now I am pretty set to leave. We have an employee party tonight at the Cantina and a few more days of work. It has been super dead at the restaurant and I LIKE IT!
It got SO friggin' cold and has been snowing like crazy. Go figure. Just when we had given into the reality of Spring...I am grateful for a few more powder days!
I am flying home on the 7th and head to Washington D.C. on the 21st of April. We fly to Panama the following morning! I am very excited. I am too distracted to finish this blog right now. I will write more when I finish my Bloody Mary and stop socializing with my friends. hahaha.Tough life I know.