A very belated Happy Thanksgiving! This year I headed up to Cerro Punta in the mountains of
Chiriqui in western Panama to celebrate Thanksgiving with 150 of my closest
volunteers. The weather was perfect; 55 degrees and drizzling rain all day! I wore the one long sleeved shirt and pair of
jeans I own that are acceptable to bring out in public, meaning the mold isn't
too noticeable yet.
I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all
holidays. One because there were no bottle rockets shooting off around every corner and
secondly because it's all about eating good food and being thankful.
We had a rockstar team of volunteers cooking up the
delicious food we enjoyed. Real American Thanksgiving food! My friend Erica said it well: This year, I'm still appreciative, but less in the wide eyed, shell shocked at civilization, give me as much food as you can sort of way, and more in the I totally appreciate my life, my friends, and what I've been given the opportunity to do sort of way.
It was awesome to be able to spend this holiday with so many
dear friends that understand exactly why I feel so so thankful and blessed at
this point in my life for friends, family, Panama, Peace Corps, life in
general and 55 degrees and drizzly.
Drea, Sonia, Erica, Beth, and I excited for dinner!
...I ran a half marathon without training. And then I did it again. This time I knew that a race in the rainy
season would not provide me for a dry road to train on. So… I looked up my time from the last half
marathon I didn’t train for in 2009 and that was my goal to beat. Logical? Yes!
The first hour and twenty minutes was really good, and then it was about
8am, the sun was out in full force, and this girl was getting a lotta bit
dehydrated. But I finished under my goal
time of 2 hours and 19 minutes and 23 seconds… by seconds.
There were a bunch of volunteers that ran (all women! plus Nate) which
made it a lot of fun. We celebrated
after at New York Bagel and ate back all of the calories we had just burned in
the form of cream cheese and bagels!
Sonia: Thank you for giving us strong legs and a healthy
body that allow us to enjoy the hike home.
We thank you for giving us the positive attitude to appreciate all of
the challenges we face. Thank you.
Bri: In advance.
I had a little bit of a meltdown the other weekend and was
very thankful to have my homegirls Drea and Sonia by my side to hold hands in a
crowded café and send our premature appreciation up to the Universe and
I’d just like to say it worked! We rock! Life is beautiful. :)
First of all, a very happy belated Mothers’ Day to all of my
moms! Panama celebrates Mothers’ Day on
December 8th which means an extra day to demand breakfast in
bed! Though Panamanians celebrate this
day on a more community scale with receptions at the school, church, or even
your place of employment – I went to talk to an engineer at the Ministry of
Health the day before and had to make it quick because the two hour long
Mothers’ day reception was about to commence.
After posting about my new shower improvements, my mother
felt like I had slighted her in saying that she couldn’t provide for me what
someone else’s parents could. Well to
clarify, that wasn’t the case. I am very
thankful for all of the hot showers I have been provided with in the last
couple months due to Mike and Nancy’s thoughtfulness! But my mother didn’t let me down, just in
case you were confused like she was, she at one point sent me all of the
connector pieces for a homemade solar shower so that all I would have to do is
find a tire tube. There was even a
diagram, just so I had no excuses… or because she thinks I’m a crappy engineer?
My mother has always enabled me to reach my goals. Like when I described to her that my
boyfriend bought a seashell shower curtain and had a beer box for a garbage can
(because he’s cheap, I mean thrifty) and said I wanted to hot glue some
seashells to a soap dispenser for him.
She didn’t say, “That sounds trashy,” as she probably should have, but
rather, “What about a beer can toothbrush holder?”
Love you, Mom! :)
A few photos from our school’s Mothers’ day celebration…