A quick update from Panama.
This past month one water committee, in an attempt to raise funds for future projects, decided to sell over 50 cases of beer, buying them from a nearby town and hauling them on their shoulders 20 minutes to the town plaza. From there, they partied over 40 hours, with some people there the whole time. With the object of the water committee to improve the community's health, I'm not sure if people falling down drunk and fighting in front of their own children and using, possibly, their food and high school education funds for their children to do so. I'm hoping to promote a local soccer tournament idea in the future that probably won't raise as much money but would be much more healthy and beneficial for the community.
We also have been doing some aquaduct system improvement, installing a chlorinator, fixing air blocks, and cleaning two spring boxes. What first was to be a one hour installation of the chlorinator turned into a day and half of working--I should come to expect that by now.
In the most rural community I'm working with, they are about a year into repairing their main water line. Recently, a landslide caused by heavy rains and lack of soil stability from farming broke the main line above the tank. We went in with picks and shovels to find where the landslide took the tube--a great exercise regimen if you're looking for new ideas. I'm also hosting some presentations on latrine construction using local materials. We have finished the solicitud for latrines with concrete floors, but the response has not given a specific date, therefore the community should have some type of sanitation option in the meantime.
Sarah and I also went through some fairly intense home cleaning and repairs. We cleaned from top to bottom, from the palm branch roof to the dirt floor. We got rid of things we never used and got rid of many insect homes as well.
The progress on our World Map is going slowly, having finished over half of the horizontal grid lines, with the vertical ones waiting for us this next week. With these 3" boxes, we'll be outlining the countries box by box until we have our 14x7 foot map finished. If you're thinking this sounds like a great project, send me an email with days you'd be available to help out. That means all you people in the freezing cold Midwest, too, this invitation applies to you as well.
We're in the early planning stages of hosting a frisbee camp. One third year volunteer is going across Panama holding one day camps in various communities. Maybe we can get some leagues formed!
Currently, we're in the big city of David getting work done. We watched the Super Bowl last night, enjoying the game but thinking that it should have been a different NFC North team playing, and that's not the Bears. Maybe next year.
Anyways, hope you are well and feel free to send a quick email update if you have time.
Grace and peace,