Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sixth Month on Site

Good morning!

I hope you are all well. It´s hard to believe, but I´m finishing up my sixth month on site already. Including training, I´ve been in Panama for 8 months! Time goes by very fast.

A couple updates from the past month:
1. Visit from the Family!
2. Water Management Seminar

1. Visit from the Family!

It was very nice to have my family (mom, dad, and brother) here for a week. We were able to visit the Panama Canal at Miraflores Lock, watching ships go through the lock from the observation deck and walking through four floors of exhibits (I especially appreciated the exhibit on the importance of watersheds!).

Later in the day we visited the Amador Causeway, watching ships enter the canal and enjoying a wonderful picnic lunch.

We drove all the way to my site, only to find that the car wouldn´t make it from the paved road to my house because of the rocky road. We got out and hiked all of our stuff in, getting ourselves nice and sweaty for the nice bucket shower upon our arrival.

Throughout the week, we hiked up to a springbox, had a dinner together with my US Family and my Panama Family, and equipped the house with a new table, plastic bins, and pots and pans. The house is slowly approaching readiness for a married couple :)

We made a sidetrip to Boquete, enjoying the many flowers, bubbling brooks, and cool temperatures. Our highlight was Finca Lerida, a beautiful restaurant, hotel, and farm. It´s one of the greenest places I´ve ever seen! A return trip will be in order.

We rounded out the trip with a night at Las Lajas, enjoying the radiant sunset and crashing waves. What a great way to end the trip!

2. Water Seminar

Along with five other volunteers, my community hosted a three-day water seminar entitled, ¨Managing a Rural Aquaduct System.¨ I invited each of the four communities I´m working with to invite four participants, mostly members of their water committee. Each day we would have breakfast together, have sessions in the morning, lunch together, and then a few afternoon sessions.

Here are the topics we covered:

Aquaduct Maps
Water & Health
Aquaduct Theory
Molding PVC w/ Vegetable Oil

Environmental Health Laws
How much water is enough?
Watershed Management
Aquaduct Contamination

Community Water Usage
Clean House Water
More Aquaduct Theory

We´ll have three more days of the water seminar at my site in May, and then give the same seminar at other sites in June and July.

In other exciting news, I get to see Sarah again in about two weeks! I´ll be watching her graduate and then we´ll come back down together to Panama for two weeks. We´ll be talking to the English Teacher and Director at the school and giving a Lorena Stove demonstration as well. Should be a fun time!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Phillippians 4:6-7

Blessings to you!



  1. Sounds like you are doing well, Kevin. Good to hear! What a lot going on! Best wishes for your time with Sarah.

  2. Hey Kevin,
    I'm working hard on making a really good teaching pamphlet about the glycerine soap making. I will send that with pictures to you sometime in May.
    I am very intrigued by your water seminar that you hosted. Could you tell me more about the topics you discussed or any materials you made/distributed for this? Perhaps they could be useful for our "water cycle health" activity book we are making for the EWB groups here
    Sounds like you are having a blast.
    Take care,