Sunday, May 17, 2009
May 4- May 11th Holla at an Indigenous Village in the Jungle.
Ok over all things are on the up and up. My group continues to be awesome. Training sessions are exhausting only because we sit for four hours and talk about hypothetical situations in 95 degree humidity. We are all always sweaty and gross but whatever. My host family is awesome and I seem to learn more and more everyday just how good I have it. Maria is a fabulous cook. She is a huge help with my Spanish as well – her patience is amazing. I enjoy the time I get to spend with her, however limited it may be due to training.
We travel a lot through out the training to different parts of the country. This past week I traveled to visit a current volunteer in an Indigenous community in the East part of Panama. My friend Shiv and I were placed together to visit and had a blast. It was really awesome to be immersed in a different part of Panamanian living. We were in the middle of the Jungle where this volunteer lives in a hut on a river. It takes 45 minutes by boat to get to her site.
The people of the community are amazing. Their way of life is so foreign to me as they live a much more sustainable live style than I am accustomed to; they live in huts and use minimal electricity. They are in a tough situation now because the land they have lived on for decades is now considered a national park. They are not allowed to hunt freely, or use wood freely to repair their homes. This causes quite a predicament.
The volunteer told us about a racist boar that the village had to get rid of after she moved to site. The boar hated white people and took a chunk out of a light skinned Panamanian teacher and proceeded to charge after the volunteer whenever she came around!
I had an amazing time. We cooked, we relaxed, we bathed and swam in the river every day and I learned a heck of a lot about Peace Corps Panama. I am really excited to finish training and settle into a site somewhere.
One of the nights the three of us had a ridiculous dance party. Yeah, that’s right, a dance party in the middle of the freakin’ Jungle!!!! It was awesome.
Hmmm, what else…
There were mad amounts of crocodiles in the river.
We made pasta and grilled cheese but best of all – she bought SPIRAL KRAFT MAC and CHEESE!!!! We made pancakes and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I laid in a hammock and read while it poured cats and dogs in the afternoon. We napped every day…so perfect. The female chief of the community re-named me, Shanene and Shiv, Chili. Pretty ridiculous! By the end of our time ther. everyone in the village referred to us as Chili and Shanene. Hahahaha.
Today we headed back home and met up with tons of people in our group. Everyone had very different experiences, from what is seemed no one had a trip that could compare to ours. I really lucked out and hope things continue to be this awesome!