Friday, May 15, 2009

I am alive!
I kind of understand now how all the other pcv people update once or twice after getting in country, and then stop. It is hard and it is hard to explain what exactly is going on. The simple explanation is that I am in training living with a host family in a suburb of the capital, having 4 hours of language and 4 hours of technical class a day. Next week I find out what site is MY site, and I am sure I will have a lot to say about that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

La primera dia en Panama

Yesterday I arrived fresh from a day of no sleep and multiple plane flights into the steamy arms of Panama. From the plane I caught glimpses of the rainforest spotted with slash and burn areas, pastures full of what looked like Brahman cattle, and the imposing skyline of the city.

Once here we (all 48 of us) were immediately ushered to the orientation center, placed in our respective villas, and then subsequently oriented for a couple hours. Our dinner was one of many traditional Panamanian meals: rice, beans, steamed veggies and some caramelized platanos. The birds are leggy with long necks; they look more like the sons and daughters of dinosaurs here. The pajaros in the palms outside the villa sound like pet-shop budgies.

I haven't experienced any culture shock yet, but I'm in a closed community where everyone speaks English to a degree. I had a nasty realization when we took a oral language proficiency test today and I couldn't remember the word for pretty nor most conjugations that I will be in a bit of a state when I first move in with my host family on Sunday, but I am confident in the Spanish I have, and will scrape by. At first Spanish will be a blunt axe that I will hack away at people's ears with, but eventually voy a tener el espanol bonito como una mariposa en la primavera. I'll buy some Paulo Coehlo and other authors que tiene palabras muy lindas, and learn from them. And everyone else.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I've been debating exactly how much 80 pounds worth of stuff really is. It seems I want to bring every book in the world with me, and heavy boots, and a moderate amount of clothing, toiletries, and a couple electronics. I know exactly how many of my belongings I currently use, but that is over a three month period, not two years and three months.

Since I graduated from Smith last May, I've been living in three month or less segments, astonishingly enough it took me until today to realize this. While it's nice to have a change of scenery I tend to like to have a place to live and really live there, as opposed to my current state of glorified squatting.

The more difficult question is; what to do with everything else?

Friday, March 6, 2009


This blog (along with will be chronicling my preparation for, journey to, and life in Panama as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sustainable Agriculture.

In school we were taught that there are two different types of life: plant (autotroph), and animal (heterotroph). Although plants rely on themselves and animals on plants, we ultimately are all heliotrophs. Without the sun both plant and animal life would be impossible (although some may debate this) . Without the labor of farmers around the world, life in America as we know it would be impossible, and I am eager to learn how it is that we truly live and have grown.