Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Week of Training

Good afternoon! We have the afternoon free so I´ve finally got some time to write up another entry. It looks like Brett Favre just signed with the Vikings so I´ve missed some big news since I last went on the internet!

Last Sunday we traveled from our retreat to our host community, where each volunteer lives with a different host family. I´m living with an older couple that has quite a bit of family in the houses next door. Their daughter has an 8-year old boy and two 3-year old girl twins that come by to play whenever they can. We´ve already played some frisbee outside in the yard. When I arrived on Sunday we had some chicken noodle soup, the chicken fresh from their yard a couple days earlier. It was a bit nerve-racking seeing the volunteers being dropped off one-by-one, but living with the host family has been a great opportunity to learn more about the culture, family life, FOOD, etc.

Monday through Thursday was spent going to Spanish class in the morning and then Environmental Health technical classes in the afternoon. We have only three students in our session, so it is a great environment for learning the language. Our first homework assignment was figuring out the family tree for our host family. In our Environmental Health (EH) classes we´ve been learning about what EH volunteers do in the field and about different roles of the volunteer (learner, teacher, co-facilitator, etc.). The highlight of the week was yesterday as we had a rainforest tour, learned about different local materials for effective composting, learned how to care for and operate a machete (which I now own), and built a concrete floor. Today we had a quick tour of Panama City before some free time this afternoon.

Next week we will have more spanish and technical classes through Wednesday before heading out individually to meet up with a current volunteer. It will be exciting to spend a few days learning about what life is really like as a volunteer.

I hope you are all well. I would love to hear more about what´s going on in your life so feel free to send me an update of your life to .

Blessings to you,


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