Tag: Peace Corp

Creepy Crawlies & The Comarca {Month 2 – August 2017}

Creepy Crawlies & The Comarca {Month 2 – August 2017}

I was stirring peacefully in my bed this morning, as the sun’s rays were peeking through my curtains and not a sound to be heard from the bar next door. Slowly awakening from my slumber, I was looking forward to finally having an ice cold shower with running water to wash my sandcastle of a hairdo. Bucket showers the past couple days have not sufficed to tame the medusa mess on my head. 

My eyes immediately shot open to the sound of a loud buzz next to my ear and I violently whipped my head to the other side to get away, yet it only followed. Immediate panic set in, was there some kind of insect stuck in my ear? Is it going to lay eggs and then in a day or two my ear will vomit a plethora of new beings into this world? 

And then, all was silent as I settled back into my pillow. I lay motionless in bed as my eyes carefully inspected my mosquito net, waiting for the enemy to make its next move. I heard a slight whimper of a buzz and saw from the corner of my eye that there was a beetle the size of a dime stuck in the ends of my tangled hair, attempting its final getaway, buzzing its last cry for battle. It dropped back to the earth in defeat, and it was no longer. 

 I sighed in relief, picked myself out of bed, and shuffled over to the bathroom hoping for running water. As I was looking at myself in the mirror, only being able to see from my mouth to my eyebrows, I whispered to myself, “this is my life now,” as I combed the beetle out of my hair and shouted “buenas” to my host mom. 

As I wiggled the knob for the shower, water began to stream through the nozzle. I took a deep breath before braving that first second of ice on my skin, then smiled at the thought of having running water. Today will be a good day. 

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I’ve been slowly adjusting to the world of tarantulas and cockroaches visiting me in the middle of the night along with ice cold showers, eating patacones (and not enough vegetables) almost every meal, and chasing down the “Pan Van” for chicheme.

The first week of August each of us PCT’s (Peace Corps Trainees) got to visit a current PCV at their site to get a taste of what life is actually like in-site. I visited Sophia in the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle of Chiriqui, which is a self-governing region of an indigenous people in Panama. She lives high up in the mountains where you can see the ocean from afar. I fell in love with the people, the culture, and the surroundings. My language teacher said that based on where we go for our volunteer site visit foreshadows where we’ll be placed for our service. If that’s the case, I’m super excited to be going to the Comarca, but we’ll see! Read more about my volunteer site visit  here.

Volunteer Site Visit
Learning how to make a chakara bag with the Ngobe women

In mid-August all of us WASH volunteers headed back to the Comarca for Tech Week at another PCV’s site! The past month we’ve had tons of sessions on the work we’ll be doing at our future sites, so during Tech Week we finally got to put our new skills to work. It was a great experience to finally learn hands-on how to build an aqueduct, latrines, and make endless amounts of ferrocement. Plus, for me, being in the Comarca feels more like home than the training community in the city so I was happy to be “home.” Read more about Tech Week here.

Presenting a charla on latrines in the local school
Post-soccer game
A beautiful morning in the Comarca
Throwing the concrete plancha for the aqueduct tank

Finally, at the end of the month we found out our sites! I am so excited that I’ll be living in the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle for the next two years! Having already visited two sites in the CNB, I know I’ll fall in love with the culture, gente, and overall beauty of it all. In early September I have my site visit and I can’t wait to see what life is life.

Site placement!

Check out next month’s round-up: Officially a Peace Corps Volunteer {Month 3 – September 2017}

Quote of the Month: “So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? So, do it. Breathe in. Breathe out. And decide.” – Meredith Gray