Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eighth Month on Site

Greetings from Panama!

I hope this post finds you well. It is hard to believe that I have already been here for over a third of my two-year stint. Lots has been done but there are lots of things yet to do.

I´ll include some highlights from the past month.

*In one community, we are almost done with patching up some burned tube. The community hasn´t had water for over a year, so we´re really excited to finish up the repairs and send water to everyone again.

*One day I hauled firewood for about 1/2 a mile. The others were carrying twice the weight of what I was carrying--yikes!

*I´m expanding my food repetoire. Recent meals have included Breakfast Potato Hash, Patacones (fried plantains), Potato Soup, Hojaldre (fried bread), Barbecue Baked Beans, French Toast, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Cooking options are limited without a grocery store next door and zero electricity!

*I attended a Padres de la Familia (Parent Teacher) meeting that lasted from 8 until 2. I was able to present some information about environmental health work as well as a quick English lesson. I might have to give an ¨Effective Meetings¨presentation next time so it doesn´t last for 6 hours!

*Twice I went to another volunteer´s site to present the water seminar. It is way off the beaten path, taking about 3 hours in the back of a pickup truck to get there. The seminar was great, and I got to bathe in the river and hike up a mountain ridge as well. Very fun!

*A school from the neighboring town wants me to install a flush toilet. I´ve never done this, but they think that I´m their only hope. We´ll see whether it gets installed correctly or not.

*I also got chosen to help lead training for the incoming group of Peace Corps volunteers. I´ll head to ¨Train the Trainer¨in July and help lead training after that. I always enjoy passing on experiences and meeting the new volunteers.

I get married in about two months! I´m super excited to be with Sarah and share experiences with her. I think my cell phone bill will be significantly less after September!

Grace and peace to you all,



  1. You have a lot going on! So glad you'll have Sarah with you soon! I had a very nice, unexpected visit with your family at the ultimate frisbee regionals in Northfield. Good to see them and catch up.


  2. Kevin - Thanks for the updates. I always enjoy the updates and hearing about your experiences. Don't worry about the flush toilet! They are a piece of cake. If you need parts, just run out to the local hardware store!! :) Just kidding! Congratulations on being so close to the wedding. The time will fly! Take care and God Bless.

    Jeff Rau