Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Pizza Hut. No matter where I go, I want pizza. I say Pizza Hut because I somehow crave greasy food when all I eat is greasy food. I would settle for any kind of NYC pizza, Trenton pizza…you know, the World’s finest.
If you are wondering how I am doing, I am very well. A few minor health issues here or there, normal stuff. And I would give my mental health an A+ at this point in my Panamanian adventure. I have made some pretty hilarious friendships in my community and as time passes I find myself a tad bit too comfortable here. Almost two months in and I am in love with these people, two years from now – I don’t want to know how hard it is going to be to leave.
Some significant changes:
1. I eat everything with my hands or a spoon. Forks and knives have evaporated from my hands.
2. My Spanish vocabulary is incredibly limited due to a lack of descriptive words in my community and seemingly all of Panama. Every type of shirt, for example, is coined “sweater”. (This has led to an increase in my English vocabulary because I am reading more than ever before so as to NOT describe all my belongings with one or two words.)
3. I am never in a rush anymore. EVER. And if I am honest with myself I have actually become tardy. “It’s the culture” hahaha. Way to set an example, right? Eh, I will just do what they do instead…way to go Gretch.
4. I swim with shorts and a tank top on because that is what Panamanians do.
5. I find myself going a whole day without drinking water and then I pay for it later. That is when I realize, I am not Panamanian and some “adjustments” can never be made. I need to drink water, unlike my community members.
6. I kill scorpions with my machete.
7. I cut my "lawn" with my machete.
8. I open the coconuts in my front yard with my machete.
9. I also kill chickens with my machete and eat them.
10. I have come to love my machete.
There are more but I will end it here. Over all I enjoy dancing randomly, making fun of myself and eating way too much fried food. The thunderstorms here are awesome so I am in Heaven – rain on a zinc roof is awesome. I have always wanted it and here it is. Some of the best gifts are rainy days; the perfect excuse for solitude and a good book in my hammock.
I have gone fishing a few times there are some crazy creatures in this part of the Pacific. And some of my fisherman friends are just as crazy! We do not use fishing poles - we use fishing line, hooks and our hands. I helped out with a Reinita competition, which was between towns in one district. The little girl, Genesis from my community won! It was awesome and because I am the white girl they asked me to crown her. It was cute. She will go on to compete to be queen of her province now. It is a big deal and awesome for our little pueblo. All the participants had to wear dresses they made out of paper - so creative and adorable.


Ben Bloxham said...

Sooooo good to "hear" from you! You're life sounds uniquely yours--ridiculous, hilarious, and all around deep. Glad you're rocking Panama so well. You will be missed December 21st (and other days too)! May God richly bless your time and work---- Ben

Xaris said...

Knives and forks be damned! Spoons and fingers is the way I eat too ^_^!!

Tim said...

Hey GiGi: I just have to get a pic of you with that machete. I bet you got that Angela Jole thing working. Frankly, I think you would be a better Tomb Raider anyway.

Love you always


kandy said...

gretchen ur "house" sounds fabulous. i can tell you're having an amazing time and im so happy for u. wish i had the money to come visit.