Friday, March 29, 2013

Tire Swing

Now it's complete.  My dream home has it all!  We put up a "tire" swing this week and it was a huge hit!  I think it's more of a belt from a piece of large equipment, but close enough.  Suuuuuper fun!

Check it!  The girl doesn't really get kicked in the face... it's just kind of close.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Guna Yala - The Hike

28 Volunteers
1 Guide
2 Days
30 Miles

I took some vacation in February to head out on a backpacking trip on the eastern side of the country with a group of volunteers.  We went up and over the central mountain range and headed for the coast where we would take a short boat ride to an island and experience their independence celebration.  I was on the fence about going on the hike because just a few days before I had come down with some type of crazy horrible stomach bug/cold combo.  It brought me to finish an entire bottle of cough syrup (I hate that stuff.), caused me to break the “no latrine visits at night” rule, and left me on my hands and knees in the front yard expelling the contents of my stomach.  I decided to rally and committed.  Let me tell you, I’m sure glad I did!  It was great to hike for pleasure again and not just necessity.  I had to remember that I really actually enjoy that!

Nate and I were food buddies and he even shared his tent with me which was super nice seeing as he’d probably have been much more comfortable with more space.  As Sean said, “How do the two of you fit in that Dora the Explorer tent?”  Before leaving, our friend Sonia made Nate promise he’d look after me because the day before we had seen a newspaper clipping about a boa constrictor that ate a man whole on that side of the country just the week before. 

Our middle of the jungle campsite was on the side of a river and snakes like water, so that was probably best.  I made it out alive!

We rested up for the second day which would be climbing to the top of the mountain range before 11am, coming down, and then making our way over hills and through bunches of river crossings.  Finishing off through some banana fields before reaching the coast.

The days were long - 30 miles is a long way! - but it felt great to be outside hiking and spending time with good friends.  We finished up the hike as the sun was setting and took a 5 minute boat ride to the island of Usuptu where we would be staying for the Guna Independence Celebration.  Stay tuned!


It's not too uncommon to talk to a Peace Corps volunteer and they'll tell you about their best friend in service who was some child under the age of 10.  For some reason when I came here I had the idea that that wouldn't happen to me.  That I would be closer friends with people my own age.  I really think I underestimated the awesomeness of 5 year olds.  And most of the people my age are the parents of 5 year olds.  I have plenty of amazing friends in site that are my age but we just have different priorities.  So here I am, proud to admit that my best friends are two young ladies ages 4 and 6.  School recently started, one is in 1st grade and the other is in Pre-Kinder, so now I find my mornings surprisingly quiet.  I'm sure you've seen quite a few pictures of them, but just in case...  ;)

I'm pretty sure they're taller in real life...

It was recently their cousin's first birthday and the candle kept going out so they were shielding the candle and coaching him on how to blow the candle out.  Eventually, one of them just blew it out, everyone cheered, and we ate some cake!

They're fun!  :)

You've got some competition.