I am in the last week of training here in Panama City. Everyone in our group of 36 volunteers has stuck it out through training and is set to swear-in this afternoon. We will be presented to various ministries here in Panama during a ceremony with the US Ambassador. There are some rumors about some special guests from the Panamanian government as well.
I thought it would be a good idea to give you a glimpse at what the next few months will have in store for me. The first few months are geared towards integrating and understanding the community, thus you won't see too much in the way of building physical things. The work done now in knowing and understanding the community will be very beneficial later as we start more construction-related things.
1. Peace Corps Volunteer Swear-In: October 22
2. Settle in to site: October 25
---Observation, journaling, listening, appreciative inquiry
3. Community Introduction--Proyecto Amistad (Project Friendship)
---Environmental Health Project Presentation
---Initial Needs Assessment
4. Community Mapping with guides and counterparts
5. House visits and informal presentations
6. Group-based informal presentations
7. Regional Governmental Organization (GO) and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) introductions with Peace Corps Regional Leader
8. Community Analysis with guide and community partners
9. Finish Peace Corps Volunteer housing arrangements
10. Regional Leader Visit: November-December 2009
11. Associate Peace Corps Director Visit
---Work plan visioning
---Project Management and Leadership
12. Regional Meeting: End of January
It is hard to believe all the information I've learned and the places I've seen in the past two months. I'm sure there will be plenty more adventures to be had in the next couple years. I'm excited to get settled and slow the pace down a little bit. I'm still working on getting enough calories in my diet.
From here on out, my posts will be about the experiences with my community, so I anticipate talking less about extensive lists of events and more about growth and experiences in my community, but we'll see.
In my comments section, feel free to write suggestions for what you would like to know more about of my Peace Corps experience. It is sometimes hard to recall what things you would most enjoy reading.
Until next time,
P.S. I've added captions to all the photos in my two photo albums. The links are below.