Peace Corps Panama

Hello, welcome to my blog. I created this blog as I am preparing to leave to Panama for the next 27 months. I will be serving as a Sustainable Agriculture Systems Extension Agent. I will try to keep my blog as updated as possible. Come Visit and Stay tuned so that I can share this experience with you.

Hola, Bienvenidos a mi Blog. Me estoy preparando para ir a Panamá los próximos 27 meses. Voy a estar sirviendo como agente de Sistemas sostenibles de Agricultura. Tratare de mantener este blog lo más actualizado posible. Vénganme a visitar. Manténgase informados con mi blog para que pueda compartir estas experiencias con ustedes.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

One WeeK and 3 days in Panama

Santa Clara: My Training Site for the next 9 weeks

(my host house)
Arrival in panama has been a roller coaster ride full of UPs and DOWNSSSS. Usually in the mornings im doing pretty good. I wake up with back aches, sometimes headaches, but to the sound of parrots, pericos, roosters, super loud buses, dogs barking, and lots of other animals. I get up around around 3:30am when my host sisters get up to get ready to go to school.( I share a room with 2 girls (16 and 12). I go back to sleep for a couple hours and around 5:30 im up and doing laundry since I only have water at my host house at night (if that). At 6am I go run. Sometimes I run with another volunteer while other times I end up going by myself. Whether alone or with someone else i run with my peper spray, my whistler, and my I know it´s crazy but I get nervous. Anyway, when i go run, it´s already light out and the town is super quiet which is nice. I sweat like an animal because of the humidity!There are also a million hills that are super steep. They suck to walk up and run up too!

(the bathroom)
When I get back to the house, the water is already gone so I fill a 5 gallon bucket with water using a tupperware container. (during the night, my host parent fill up these huge containers with water so that we can have water to use during the day). Surprisingly, I can wash my hair and body with this bucket...=). By the way, i shower in a ¨shower¨that there is in the house but except i just take the bucket in there. I change in my room, eat a little breakfast and walk to my language classes which have not been that excititng this week ( but i was just told that starting next week I won´t have to do that anymore). At around 11ish I walk back to my house for lunch and try to catch a nap in the hammock but usually don´t have time. In the afternoon´s i´ve had technical training classes. I am excited about next week cause we will start more hands on stuff. Monday we get to work with our MACHETES! After class we hangout by the tienda (1 of the 3 tiendas in our town) or play frisbee. At around 6:30pm i eat dinner (usually a lot of rice is involved). Sometimes at night i talk with my family or watch a novela they are watching. Nights that the water does come, I take a shower and go to sleep cause im exhausted. By 9am i´m passing out under my bugnet. At night is when i am the saddest, worn out and depressed but i look through my picutres, read some notes and hope that i wake up a little more comfortable with this trip. I am surprised at how fast i have adjusted to some things but I don´t think i will ever adjust to others.
Thoughts on the Peace Corps so far:
It is a lot different than what i expected. I know this experience will be what i make of it and i have to take it into make own hands if I want this experience to be meaningful and productive.Everyone who we talk to tells us to Lower our expetations of what we can accomplish while we are here and in service. They tell us that we have to prepare ourselves to fail. I don´t like that. I know that when you are working with ppl, you can´t expect everything that you plan to workout perfectly but to tell us to expect to fail seems like they want us to go in with the wrong mentality from the getgo.
Whatever, I know that i will figure out a way to make a project work!
(getting caught in the rain after class)
Thoughts on the other Peace Corps Trainees:
They are awesome. It is a really random, funny, ecclectic, interesting group of ppl. It helps to have them around. They make me laugh and cheer me up when all i want to do is cry. That is one thing the PC did to right is pick really cool people to come on this trip.
yesterday we got to hangout in Chorrera for the first time. It was a lot of fun to just sit and chill and not have to hear anyone tell us about what we will be doing for the next two years of our lives... at it was Shiv´s Birthday (the guy with the hat in the middle with the blue and white stripes on his shirt)

I miss you all. This week has been really REALLY long but little by little i will get through, taking in one day at a time.


  1. i love so going to get mommy and daddy now at the airport and we are calling you!!!


  2. That is so crazy! It is really hard to experience and hear about all the bad things when they marketted this 'amazing experience'.

    You are better than most at motivating, so hopefully you are able to do some significant work while you are there.

    I love you and miss you a lot. I am in San Diego, visitng my family and saying good vye to Anthony, and wishing you were here. The times when I am travelling to another city or driving around Texas are when I miss you the most.

    See you tonight (in my dreams).

  3. Wow vale! que increible lo que contas! aca puse a mis hermanas a ver tus fotos y leer tu experiencia y nos re enganchamos!!

    se te extrania un monton por aca! por las dudas no dejes el pepper spray, ni el pocket knife ni nada!

    la verdad que el paisaje se ve re lindo - un thought que tengo... Si alguna vez te sentis sola, pensa que toda la gente que esta ahi de Peace Corps con vos, esta en tu misma situacion... ellos estan ahi por la experiencia de vida que les da, y tienen que apoyarse uno con los otros en las buenas y malas... Se ve que elgrupo es lindo, pero me gustaria saber un poco mas de tu companieros y como se llevan!!

    un beso grande de la familia lopez!!!!!