At 11:00 am today the one transport per day passed by our house. At 11:30 am a young woman in our community told us we had a call at the pay phone. The call was to inform us that Peace Corps is evacuating all volunteers East of Panama City. Now, before my mother dies of worry, let me make clear that it is ONLY A TEST evacuation.

We had a slim chance to catch the transport at an intersection about half an hour walk from our house so we started throwing stuff into our backpacks. In ten minutes we packed, locked down the house, Foy threw out the bread dough that was rising (it hurts me to lose fresh bread), I distracted the cat with some kibbles, and we made good our escape. We missed our ride by only minutes. Luckily we only walked two of the four hours to the road, then a private car came by and we caught a ride to the inter-americana. The first part is the easy half, less steep.

We usually make our way to the PC office in Panama City once per month. We were here less than a week ago. Also, because of our hasty packing and lack of planing time we don't have our usual array of things to get done in city. I understand that this exercise is necessary, but it sure ends up wasting a lot of our time.

On the positive side, all the volunteers that live in our region will be called in with as little to do. We will have a fun evening and PC will pay for our hotel tonight and the trip into the city.

In the office I put together this panorama from Stephen's site.
Stephen arrived in Panama with us as part of group 59. This is him naming the local landmarks from a hill top. His look and personality remind me of a blond Paul Hatten, for those of you who know Paul.


  1. Anonymous5/23/2008

    Jeff--Thank you for staving off your mother's heart attack with the words, "only-a-test evacuation." I have worked on the pandemic plan for our unit, so I think they are smart to do a run-through before the real thing occurs. Hope you had fun in Panama City anyway! Love, Mom

  2. Jeff--Now your mother-in-law checking in. This is only a test---good. Sometimes we're too complacent so it's nice to know our government is looking out for all Peace Corps volunteers. Hope you had a good time in the city and didn't worry about those things left undone. Love, the other mom