Volunteer Site Visit {PST Week 4}

Volunteer Site Visit {PST Week 4}

go As I was sitting with the indigenous Ngobe women making chakaras under a giant, majestic “grandmother” tree like in Pocahantas, I took a step back and thought to myself, what an incredible opportunity it is to be here, to learn from the gente, and to integrate into a seemingly disappearing culture. It was at that point I realized how “present” I was – how much less I thought about the past or the future, but how much I was enjoying life in the present moment. I realized at this point in my life, I am exactly where I need to be.

Making chakaras with the Ngobe women

where can you buy generic Finax During our 4th week of PST we have the opportunity to visit a current PCV at their site to get a taste of what everyday is life. After learning about the diverse groups of people in Panama I really hoped that I would get to visit an indigenous site, and I got exactly what I wished for.

http://xconify.com/mobility/ I visited Sophia, also a surfer from California, at her site in the mountains of Chiriqui of the CNB. Having only been in the city around Panameno Latino culture, I had no idea what to expect. It was a 6-hour bus ride to the entrada, where I met Sophia wearing a nagua – I was in awe she wore her dress for everyday life, but it’s part of the integration. We went to the grocery store for food and she was really stoked when she saw vegetables, and quickly grabbed them. I realized how scarce food is in the Comarca, and as a PCV you scavenge anything you find.

It was my first time in a chiva, a pick-up truck with a roll cage over the bed that you sit in, and it was a bumpy ride up dirt roads through the mountains. The hike-in was 40 minutes straight up the mountain, and I realized that if I got a hiking site there was no way I’d be able to lug all my stuff up the mountain and I’d have to get rid of as much as I could.

HIking into site

Sophia showed the elements of the aqueduct, we met the water committee, sat with the women and learned how to make a chakara, pasear-ed with the gente, and played soccer with the girls. It was a packed set of days, and I was exhausted. The slow pace of life became more apparent too; Sophia hosted a bread-making charla that was supposed to start at 8 but no one showed up until about 10, and then it took another 4 hours after that.

When I first learned about all the different cultures of Panama, I thought it would be amazing to be immersed in the Darien (region of Panama bordering Colombia). After visiting the Comarca in Chiriqui, and being a good halfway point between Panama City and Bocas del Toro (a popular tourist beach region on the Caribbean side, close to Costa Rica) and only 15 minutes from the beach on the Pacific – I think the CNB is the ideal place for me.

Ngobe children

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *