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.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Panama tried to prepare me...

As I slowly crutched up the inclined streets of Santa Clara de Arriajan at 12 noon after Technical Training Class, I felt FRUSTRATED, HELPLESS, and EXHAUSTED. The incline seemed to get steeper and longer with each second that went by. As people in the community looked out their front porches at me struggling to get up to my Host house, I would smile at them and pretend that it looked a lot harder than it really was.

Deep down inside I just wanted to throw my crutches, ripped the walking boot off and go jump in an ICE POOL!

Little did I know that getting hurt in Panama would only be a glimpse of the uphill crutching that was to come. Here I am now feeling HELPLESS again. Never in the vision that I had for my life did I see myself depending on ANYONE for anything. I have always been very independent. But the hand that life has delt me now has humbled me once again, and made me realize that I can’t do everything MYSELF.

Now more than ever I am depending on Peter, my family and my friends to keep me going. Whenever people look at me as if I’m struggling, I just smile and pretend that everything is Fine. For those who know me well, they know how difficult accepting the I CAN'T do something really is. Deep down inside I still finding myself wanting to scream, yet there are times where I find that I’m learning to accept the changes in my life and see the strength that I’m taking from this uphill workout.

In Panama, I was so thankful for those people who would help me out, fill the bucket for my bucket-bath, come visit, or simply walk at my CRAWLING SLOW pace. Now I’m grateful for all the friends and family that are not only walking slowly with me but carrying my bags, encouraging me, and helping me notice the beautiful things along the way that my new pace is allowing me to see, that we all would have otherwise missed in our fast-paced, no time for anything, lives.

Whether it was crutching around Panama with my 60lbs Hiking bag on one foot, moving around from one Diablo Rojo (panamanian public buses) to another, or just trying to get through a day in MY NEW LIFE, the frustrations, the emotional and physical dependence, and the struggles are the same. My fellow volunteers in Panama would tell me how much they admired me for managing to do everything we were ASKED to do during our training. Now friends here are impressed at how I've made a seemingly smooth transition into my new role as mother-to-be. I don't know if by trying to make others believe that everything was OKAY I really started believing it, or I believed that everything was okay, and everyone just picked up that vibe. Which ever (the chicken or the egg) that came first, I'm here now...remembering the past that made me strong, and hoping that this experience will only make me stronger for the future.

Though we come to this world alone, and in essence live alone, God places people in our lives to help us along the way. We have to stop and admit that we need the help. Sometimes people around us won't offer it since we have always been so self sufficient...But maybe if we ask, they will help.

1 comment:

  1. Valeria, you are so beautiful! I'm at work and catching up on all the things that have been going on in your life. I love what you said about NEEDING people. Sometimes I feel alone in Gainesville and frustrated with graduate school. Even though I know a lot of people, most of my close friends have moved away so I feel a lone a lot. This blog entry was very enlightening and encouraging. We have to recognize that friends and family are gifts from God and that it's okay to need them. I really appreciate you keeping in touch with me even though your life is very eventful now. I love you so much! Take care.