Day 35 - Service Training - Cultural Week

We completed our Cultural Week in The Darien. We were at another volunteer´s site. The Volunteer and the Regional Leader for The Darien and Panama East were both there. It was fun. We stayed with a host family that had four - 20 something kids living at home. It was a good experience. One night we watched a movie in Spanish with English subtitles that translates, more or less, to ¨The Jungle of Columbia´s Drugs¨ or something like that. It must have been made in Columbia and it was just terrible. Later on we watched most of an illegal, theater dubbed copy of ´The Fast and the Furious III´ in which you could see the shadows of the people in the movie theater move around or hear people cough or what not. It was in English with Spanish subtitles. At the end of the movie the DVD just crapped out, so we don´t even know how it ends.

We did more than just watch movies with the family. One of the Spanish instructors came out with us and she taught Spanish for three hours a day, usually in the morning. Then in the afternoons we did little activities like working with the school garden, visiting a women group´s garden and making totumas (bowls made from the fruit of a tree, picture right). We talked Spanish a lot. I can now see why volunteers get together with other volunteers just to speak English. I think Jeff and I both gained confidence in our Spanish and improved our ability to speak quicker with a bit more fluidity. By no means are we fluid, but we aren´t quite as halting as we used to be. It takes a lot of brain power to translate constantly.

We tried to glean more about our site, since both the Regional Leader and the other volunteer had visited the area. However they were illusive. They told us we´d just have to wait for our site visit.

As it turns out, I won´t have to go cross country alone like I had feared. Jeff goes all the way to Pananome with me, and then we split up for the last hour or so of the trip. I finally got an itinerary for the Technical Week. I feel a lot better now that I know the plan. There were a lot of emails going on clarifying details, so I think I was not the only one worried about how to get there. However, lacking email in the site we visited, I didn´t get all the information until today, Saturday at two o´clock. We need to be in our technical training location by three on Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/24/2007

    Happy anniversary!!!

    I'm off to another wedding of another Jeff (to my friend Danielle)...I'm thinking of you two!