it has been some time, but i don`t remember exactly where i left off, so i`ll just be where i am at this point. I am in the city waiting to pick up my brother and sister in law from the airport! I cannot tell you how excited I am for this visit. We are going up to San Blas (pray for good weather) and to my friends` indigenous site in the rainforest of the Chagres River Valley. Should be fabulous, plus my site with the beach and all.
As far as my work goes, I have definitely had some encouragement in that realm lately. I had another volunteer come down for a 2 day workshop to form the mission and vision of the group of women which went VERY well, and I am pleased and excited about the way they are thinking about the future (something that is sometimes hard to get people here to think about). We met yesterday and did a presentation of what my counterpart and I had done at the Peace Corps conference that we went to and will be working on getting another capacity building seminar in accounting soon. Other than that, my Panama Verde youth group sent 4 members with me to a national camp which they enjoyed and now I`m trying to motivate them to plan a trip to a national park. Could be tough though to raise the funds by the vacations they have coming up in august. I just want them to learn about leadership, teamwork, and planning...most all really executing which sometimes doesn`t happen.
The park we are building has been slow. We did have some work days but it was to move dirt around basically in that we need to make the raised structure level. Tough stuff. I am now teaching english classes to all 6 grades in the primary school which is tons of fun. they loved that on the first lesson i used a banana for a telephone to practice hello and goodbye and other introductory phrases...now i walk around town and they will call out `ring, ring...` to me just like i did when they answered the telephone!
kids are constantly at my house nowadays and love playing uno and mancala which they call piedritas or little rocks. they are fascinated by the toys i have thanks to you all. but they do have trouble putting things back where they go, i get frustrated sometimes with this.
the cooking in my house is going well. i am trying to learn. mastering the art of cooking rice is harder than it looks. i love making banana cinnamon pancakes and eggs. dari does so much better with the fish that i usually leave that to him. lots of chicken or beans and rice. sometimes a flop and sometimes not.
i am now in the thick of training for the marathon and plan to run that as long as i do not get hurt in august. i think everyone in town thinks i`m crazy. they can`t believe i run to the beach and back...without stopping! they are always amazed. but a great support and accountability in that manner bc they know when i run and when i don`t.
i went to the feria in los santos and saw a HUGE bull that weighed over a TON! he was so big he couldn`t hardly get up. i met up with about 7 other gal volunteers and we had a blast staying at one of the girl`s house who lives close, cooking, laughing, and dancing at the discoteca.
i love my townspeople who always make me laugh at their crazy antics and jokes. the joke is now that my boyfriend has become the driver for this guy in town who can`t drive but bought a car that he has stolen my boyfriend from me. i just tell them that the old man will then have to wash his dishes, clothes, and cook for him if that`s the case. they just laugh!
well, i`m off to get my bro and sis. hope all the women have a happy mother`s day coming up. happy mother`s day, mom! love you. know that i count each of you who read this as a blessing in my life. i wouldn`t be here doing what i am doing without your influence in my life and your continued encouragement and strength that you send me. GRACIAS!!