2.17.2008

Water is important

We are in Chepo again after only ten days. Tomorrow a Spanish teacher provided by PC will meet us here and accompany us back home to be our first guest. She will stay for four days to work on improving our language. Which makes it sound like we have a swearing problem, but no. The actual teaching is a great help, but not being able to speak to each other in English for the duration of her visit to avoid being rude helps almost as much. It would be excellent if we could bring ourselves to converse in Spanish in our home, without being forced to by company, but I doubt it will happen. Foy and I are constantly aware that being here as a couple lessens the the feeling of cultural isolation. In Spanish, I can say whatever I need to, but I lack depth and preciseness. Being able to fully articulate my thoughts in English and bounce them off Foy makes living in Panama easier.

It rained heavily for four hours this morning. This is what the river looked like on the way to town. Later I will post a picture of the river when not cresting for comparison. On the other side of the valley wall everything was dry and dusty all the wayto Chepo. One volunteer told us her community had not received rain since December. In less saturated parts of Panama availability of water and aqueducts are a problem.

We arrived in Chepo covered with dust and checked into our favorite local hotel. Twenty dollars a night for AC, but only twelve for a room with a fan. After Foy had washed up, I decided rinse off with a quick shower. Hot water is not common, so I have become accustom to quickly splashing myself with the cold water then turning it off to soap up. This time however, when I turned the water back on, the shower head made an ominous gurgling noise. I tipped my forlorn face to the floor and put the top of my head to the wall letting the last three drip, drip, drips hit my neck. The water was out. I considered my limited options. Only one option really. I opened the shower curtain, lifted the lid off the back of the toilet, and cupping my hands, scooped. I quickly rinsed my body and short cropped hair, the road's dust washed to the drain in rivulets of muddy soapy water. Scooping water in combination with using the ¨L¨ of my index finger and thumb as a squeegee required remarkably little water for me to feel tolerably clean. Looking on the bright side, I am lucky the bathroom is small enough to put the toilet in arms reach of the shower.

The Brigades group that visited in January left drawing and coloring supplies for the children in our area.

This is my favorite piece produced thus far. Just take a moment to absorb the diversity of symbols and characters. This was made by a visitor to the community during carnival. I don't know him but I think he was about ten.

Some people appreciate puns more than others. If you do not, then enjoy this cute picture of our cat and read no further.

The Romans conquered the Greeks, but were so enamored with their culture that they emulated many aspects of it. Zeus is the Greek name for the king and father of their pantheon of gods. It is thought that the Romans, in attempting to adopt this god as their own misunderstood the Greeks saying "Zeus pater" and named the all father Jupiter.

This picture represents the work of a "Zeus potter".
Sorry to those of you who read that, I was feeling "clever".

1 comment:

  1. Cool drawing. Cool cat. That's not a pun I would have alighted upon myself, which makes it all the more lovable.

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