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.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life is calling...

...for a change

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog entry. The time since my last blog entry has been full of LIFE CHANGING EVENTS to say the least.

Now more than ever, I understand the importance of living the moment. In one minute, everything in my life and in the lives of those around me changed. Peace Corps’ slogan is Life is Calling…How far are you willing to go to make a difference? Well I did my best to find out. In that search, I found I was willing to leave everyone I loved and everything familiar to me behind in the hopes that I could change a couple lives and along the way experience something completely different, exciting, and selfulfilling.

Though I can’t continue my service, Life is still calling …this time however, its asking how far I’m willing to go to make a difference in the life of one little boy, my own baby boy (and Peter’s too)

Friday August 7th, when I went into the city to pick up my father, I stopped at the gynecologist office. Little did I know what news awaited me past those doors. About 3 seconds after the check up began, he dropped the news on me… Estas en estado ( you’re in state, translated literally). I could only wonder and ask: En estado de que? (in what kind of state?) He then put gel on my stomach , as he did so, he pointed to the screen where he slowly said: Estas bien embarasada, 18 semanas (you are Very Pregnant…18 weeks). Confused he asked me if I had felt anything, if I had thrown up, if I felt any movements? To all I answered NO. I had no reason to think or even suspect that anything was going on, especially since we got tested the day we arrived in the country for training…and mine had come back negative. I was definitely in a state of shock. Not knowing what to tell Peter or my parents. I felt trapped in a movie or a dream. I couldn’t believe what was happening, I could barely process everything.The doctor gave me some time to talk to Peter and then he came back into the examining room. With Peter on speaker, the doctor checked the baby again and played the heartbeat. In the midst of my tears I managed to ask if the baby was okay since I’ve been working in fields, hiking, horseback-riding, lifting things, moving things, and so much more in the past 4 months. Fortunately, he said yes.

Since that afternoon, a million things have happend:
(If you want details, I will gladly give them to you but here is the super cliff notes version)
I went back to my community and said my good byes. Though it was very difficult, I was happy to see the impact that my presence had made in the community in such short time. I left everything, my projects, some clothes, my Princess, my Caramelo, and all the friends I had made in hopes that I would be able to come back one day (soon) and share all of this with my baby, with Peter, and with my friends and family.

What took 1 year and 6 months to apply and get accepted into, took one afternoon to close. I was Medically Seperated from the Peace Corps. Trying to get home was also a lot more difficult than I would have liked. Its almost as if Panama didn't want to let me leave. My 7am flight got delayed and then when we finally did take off at 8am, we made a U-turn 30 minutes into the flight due to smoke in the cock pit. Fortunately, we made it back to Panama safely but not without a little bit of a scare. We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in the airport just waiting and finally got onto the 3pm flight, which didn't leave till 4:30pm due to complications and bad weather. At around 8:45pm I was walking out of immigration in MIA where I saw Peter, Manuela, and Snoopy waiting there! Soooo exciting!

Once here in Miami, we told his grandmothers, some other friends, and the rest of our families that didn't know the news.

Then Peter surpised me with a Trip to Puerto Rico where we spent 3 days talking, tanning, and thinking about all the changes that were coming our way. To my uber surprise, Peter's real intentions for the trip were revealed on thrusday evening when we were horseback riding along the beach. He got off his horse, came around to mine and asked me to MARRY HIM as he opened a little white box with a beautiful DIMOND RING IN IT!! Just out of a fairy tale!
The trip ended with a visit to Ponce where I got to see one of my Best Friends, Leilani.

Upon our arrival back in Miami, the surprises continued. His parents and mine had but together an engagement dinner for us. They invited all our friends and family members. It was awesome.

Soooo Here I am...16 days since I found out that my life was going to change completely. I still have a lot of questions yet I'm not as scared as I was in the Doctor's office that Friday evening. I know that I'm surround by more love and support than anyone could ever dream of. I love Peter and I know he loves me too! Our story begins now.
I am so greatful for everyone in my life and all the experiences that have shaped me into who I am right now.
This might be one of the last Blog entries for "Life is Calling...". However stay tuned, because the writing of my first book has officially begun. Its a dream I have had since I can remember.
Thank you all for following my blog throughout this time. I loved sharing this experience with all of you. I've kind of become addicted to blogging though so I can assure you that it will continue in some way. If you have any questions or comments, please email me.
Hope you all have a great week...
Pictures of this last blog entry will be posted up soon.


  1. Well there my dear Valeria and Peter. We want to wish you the very best in your most exciting path ahead. Real life unfolds with all sorts of wonderful surprises and blessings. Congratulations on the news of your marriage and sweet baby boy... you know the sex already? Holy crow. Wishing you love, joy, and great celebration during this special time.
    with love from Dallas Texas,
    Marybeth and Craig Reid (Claire's mom and dad)

  2. valeria, good luck to you. I will miss your blog. I am mary walsh's mom, sarah, and I have truly enjoyed your writing. take good care of that baby!!

  3. Valeria,

    It's been one heck of journey for you....but, you are about to embark on another that will change you for the rest of your life....I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your surprise party, but, I'm sure once I tell you why you will best regards to you and Peter on your engagement and on the news about the baby...

    If you are in town, give me call...

    All the best....a big hug.....