Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seventeenth Month on Site: Part 2

Good morning! I hope you all are well. Life has been busy, so I'll hop to the chase. The world map is pretty much done! We've finished the painting of he countries and the writing of all the country names. Soon will come some small geography lessons with the students. You can see the map on the Picasa link on the right hand side of the page. Water projects continue! Along with the water committee, we went to the regional environmental health office, where they helped organize a technical worker and transportation to build a spring box. It looks like this addition will dramatically increase the flow in the summer months. In two different communities I put on some latrine presentations. There are sometimes attitudes in communities of poverty that help is needed from the government for any type of larger project. My goal was to try to present an option of using local materials to build a nice looking latrine for under $10. Plus, the same materials can be used if the government does donate materials in the future. A neighbor of mine, about 19 years old, challenged me to a race from our community to the Pan American Highway. In between is about two miles of pasture, including ten gaes, three river crossings, and one big hill. He told me that he could run the whole way in twelve minutes. He clocked in at fourteen minutes, eight huge minutes before I finished in 22 minutes. It looks like I have some more exercising to do! The same neighbor has a fruit tree, which produces an 8 pound fruit called a guanabana. I bought about two pounds of it and Sarah and I proceeded to take the seeds out and make a delicious fruit drink. We offered this to about fifteen people who passed by our house in the afternoon. Another neat opportunity we had was frisbee day! A youth volunteer came by with about forty frisbees and we had an afternoon of fun learning how to throw the frisbee and having them track down my long tosses. Plenty of pictures are found on Picasa. In a couple weeks we are hosting a seminar for managing projects and leadership, so we've been busy sending out invitation letters and readying the lessons. Thanks so much for reading! Kevin

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Seventeenth Month on Site


Time is flying by...Sarah and I just celebrated our six month wedding anniversary! We went to a baseball game on Thursday night, to find the home team Chiriqui walloping the opponent 18-3. It has been a joy to have her serving by my side here in Panama.

Another celebration re able to celebrate my birthday up in beautiful, cool Boquete, where we stayed at a beautiful place by a bubbling brook and toured flower gardens and tried out some new restaurants. A nice way to reengergize!

An exciting, but bit terrifying story, is that I got bit by a scorpion while underneath my mosquito net! The picture can be found in the Picasa album, with the link on the right margin. I was sleeping and moved my arm only to feel a large jolt, like a beesting, just above my right elbow. I turned to see the scorpion scurry away under the mattress. About 30 minutes later we were able to corral the scorpion to a place where I could spray it.

Our World Map is almost all painted, with the exceptions of Norway, Japan, and large amount of South Pacific islands. It has been a fun way to spend our time together. Lots of kids and parents alike have asked us if this was a map of their province or of Panama. When we point out where Panama is, they say it's so very small! We're planning on giving some fun classes on geography in the coming month.

In other news, a Rotary group from Kansas, working with an organization called Heart to Heart, helped install three biosand filters. The goal is that people can use this at the household level to improve their quality of water. It was a bit weird to see a pickup truck arrive and 5 white people pile out!

This morning Sarah is at a meeting for Girl Scouts to see if they have resources that we can use back on site. Lots of the kids are looking for things to do and would enjoy having an organized activity where they could learn and have fun.

That's the news from here! Thanks for reading!