Day 203: Volunteer Service - Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! We spent our Thanksgiving in the company of 100 Peace Corps Volunteers. Our location was beautiful Cerro Punta at the Los Quetzales Lodge and Spa. Jeff and I were part of a twenty person kitchen crew that made all the big dinner. I love cooking, but it was really strange to make these huge vats of food. There were four turkeys and two big hams, huge sheets of stuffing and broccoli cheese casarol and huge bowls of mash potatos and gravy. Here´s Darleen with the mashed potatos.

We had a lot of left over carrots, so Jeff cooked them with molassas to make tasty side dish.

Here´s Jeff and Rebecca working on the stuffing.

This is part of the hard working turkey crew. This was the best turkey I´ve had in a while. It was moist and well seasoned. I´ll be dreaming about Thanksgiving dinner for a while.


Ca Ma Ra

With a camera comes the impressive ability to share my perception of light that was reflected in a different time and place.

Foy and I are headed to IST (In Service Training) and because it would take too long to go back to our site and then cross the country again for the volunteer celebration we will stay out of site through the Thanksgiving holiday.

Right now I have the time to make this post because we are staying in Panama City at La Casa De Carmen (www.lacasadecarmen.net) which has a friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices, and free internet. The cost of internet cafes does not really deter posting, it just happens that when we are out of site, we always seem to be short on time. Either our only ride home is leaving in 5 minutes, or we have to get to the PC office before it closes, or the bus is leaving. But now the unthinkable has happened, I am now an early riser. The sun sets about 6:20 pm and before too long we go to bed. ¨But look, the sun in russet mantel clad walks oer the dew of yon high eastward hill¨ between 5:30 am and 6:00 am and unless it is really grey we get up between 6 and 7. Today I was up and showered (hot water even) with time on my hands by 6:30 am.

Now Photos

This is our cat, Zeus. In these pictures he is between 1 and 2 months old. He still thinks biting is the best game ever. It turns out bug repellent is also a good way to keep a cat from biting your feet. I made him a toy. Stick + string + anything = perfect cat toy. He is very attached to us and cries when he can´t find us or can´t see us or wants food or wants us to get up before 6 am.

While Foy and I were eating breakfast, our host father instead of getting out and sharpening his usual one machete, this day he was duel wielding. After they were both sharp he stood there sliding the fresh edges along each other making that metallic ringing noise. If I had asked I bet he would have told me he did it to make the blades sharper or some other rubbish. I know exactly what he was doing, the same thing I would be doing if I had a sharp sword in each hand, enjoying the feel and sound. He then went and cleared jungle growth out of his steep field. Hot hard work.
There are a ton of evil looking caterpillars in Panama. They probably have something to do with the many butterflies and moths we see. Most of them make your skin burn if you touch them. These were eating some pretty plants near our table.

For the week before PC swearing in, some of the guys agreed to Stephen´s plan and grew (tried to grow) stashes. Mine came in thick enough, but it was not very dark and in the bright sun it is hard to see. Ever ones looked more full in reality. The picture does not do them justice. Really. You will just have to take my word for it. I learned that I will never grow just a mustache again, every time I saw myself in a mirror it made me cringe just a little.

This is a scan out of my sketchbook. I have been drawing the people of our community. The pages are much larger than the scanner making it hard to scan.
One of the volunteers ask me to make a cover for an educational text that is one of her main projects. The title is Pueblo Sano Vida Sana (healthy community healthy life).

November 9th we spent the first night in our house. The view is excellent and the front porch usually gets a breeze. I have nearly finished building the outdoor shower. We usually have plenty of drinkable water, but I have not got a battery to set up with our solar panel yet so no electricity. We will try to get a stove by the end of the month. We have been walking back and forth twice a day to Ramiro´s house to cook and shower. Pictures later.


Day 183 - Volunteer Service - Quicky Update

We have just a couple minutes in the internet cafe, so I´ll try to give a quick update.

  • We just spent about $200 on stuff for our house. That´s a lot of Balboas! Although more impressive will be trying to put it all on the Chiva to get it up to our house.
  • Our gatito (little cat) is growing out of his Budda belly and starting to look like a real cat
  • Jeff is starting English classes today, actually
  • I have now read 30 books
  • We are going to have Thanks Giving with a bunch of volunteers
  • I saw a cockroach the size of my hand - no kidding - Jeff killed it
  • It rained a lot for two days straight. Apparently the left overs from some hurricane.
  • The camino (road) up to our site is still ugly. Although one transport is passing per day. However, the cost went up 50 cents per person.