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Six Months in Site

In the "Cult of Escapism": Six Months in Site

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Six Months in Site

A full six months in site; a quarter of my service complete. It went by faster than Yogi Bear running after a picnic basket and was just as violent as Yogi Bear mauling a camper once he catches them. Ok, so it wasn’t usually violent but it did go by quickly. Reflecting back, I wonder, what have I accomplished? What does the future hold? Will I ever stop sweating? What is May Day?
Quick answers: I’m used to sweating and wearing pants every day in the tropics (accomplishment); the future holds moisture (sweat and rain…and sweaty rain); no, I’ll never stop sweating. Those philosophical questions answered, let’s move on to other important discoveries.
·         I like shampoo. I went without shampoo during training (10 weeks), just to try it. Soap works in short hair, so I wasn’t repelling anyone with stench but I learned that a shower (or whatever you call it here) is more refreshing with shampoo. I prefer Pert.
·         Same goes with shaving cream.
·         Life without electricity is not hard. But I’ll probably live somewhere with electricity after the Peace Corps – I heard inhaling kerosene every night is not particularly healthy.
·         Cockroaches are the scum of the earth but bats are more of a nuisance. I hope they don’t find a way to reproduce together (bockroaches?).
·         Ngöbes are the toughest people on the planet; no argument.
·         Licenciado means “degree holder” and is wielded here the way Americans say Doctor. Therefore, I’m often respected like a doctor. Returning to a country saturated with licenciados in a year and a half will be a real buzz kill.
·         I miss couches.
·         Development work is slow and frustrating but it feels so damn good when you accomplish something.
·         Panamanian students (K-12) could probably learn more from one Clifford book than 12 years of school in this broken, pathetic school system. For example, they may be able to answer, “Does Clifford chase giant cats? Can he kill a person by pooping on them?
·         I now loathe paternalistic government projects, but I live in one. Hypocritical?
·         Only one overnight in the hospital but three total visits. None in the last two months. My body can now successfully process terrible things.
·         Kill count: 4 tarantulas, 2 scorpions, 1 bat, most of the cockroaches in Panama, and about 978,000 pounds of rice. 

Also, I managed to find some fast internet so here are some pictures from the first 6 months:
Working the Field

An Insane Bearded Man Husks Corn with his Host Family

Pepito in my Life Vest..and a Dog

Pilaring Coffee Beans


At May 14, 2011 at 3:50 AM , Blogger Aunt Martha Mary said...

Wow, Six months already! Keep the blogs coming and ditch the beard!

At May 15, 2011 at 4:42 PM , Blogger Alyson said...

I had no idea that Abe Lincoln was in Panama! Also... that he is alive.

At February 12, 2013 at 10:15 AM , Blogger bama said...

Nice pictures, six months into my blog read already?


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