Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pure. Bliss.

I killed it!  (Knock on wood)  I remember I was at my friend Sergio's site in August and I told him "I got something today, but I'm going to the doctor next week so I'll just deal with it then."  I had gotten stomach bugs before and the feeling was familiar.  The doctor gave me pills even though the tests came back negative.  They didn't work.  I wasn't debilitatingly sick so I put off figuring it out.  The tests in January came back negative and the doctor told me I was "healthy".  Wrong!  So I took some over the counter pills that cleared out everything.  Which was exhausting but effective!

The theme song of today goes something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvY7Nw1i6Kw

I feel remarkably better.  I shouldn't get too excited, it's only day 4, but I have so much more energy and I'm not feeling nauseous multiple times a day.  It feels like a gloomy cloud has been lifted.

The majority of the people I work with will contract these preventable illness multiple times in their lifetime.  They will loose time working or learning because they are too ill to do so or too ill to do so effectively.  When you work as a subsistence farmer, less days working means less food for your family, less food means less energy, less energy means less work.  It's quite the cycle and we didn't even add in the down pouring rain, the crippling heat and sun, or the steep hills that are climbed on foot because there simply aren't roads.  Life here is hard enough without being sick.

I am very thankful to be feeling so good (i.e. normal) but it's also a reminder of the importance of the work that we do everyday to educate people on their health as it relates to water and sanitation and to help them build and maintain the infrastructure required to consume clean water.  Seguimos.

Good bye, old friend.  And good riddance! 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

For being an extremely religious country, Panama doesn't make a big deal about Easter like we do.  My first year here I tried to ask people what the translation of Easter is.  If you look it up it'll be pascua or passover, but people don't really use that here and instead, after some confused stares, refer to the day as the Resurrection.

It's weird to be talking to someone and thinking "You're a Catholic, I'm a Catholic and you don't even acknowledge our #2 blockbuster holiday as a thing."  Instead they celebrate the entire Holy Week with no real emphasis on Easter, more so on Good Friday.  And especially not the emphasis on bunnies and cute little chicks!

I talked to another volunteer this morning about how everyone is all "it's just another Sunday" and we're all thinking "BRUNCH!  Where's the egg bake?  Where's the ham?!"

Either way, I got two worm free mangoes from my normally wormy mango tree this morning!  The Easter Bunny made me pick them up out of the real grass instead of a bed of shredded plastic grass but they were a delicious additive to my breakfast either way.

Happy Easter everyone!

Last year's attempt to corrupt the youth of Panama  ;)

Doodle me this...

We had a doodling contest at the newest Environmental Health group's in-service training.  The winning doodle would replace the current drawing on the cover of our Water Committee Seminar manuals.

Pretty classy, eh?!
Though there was stiff competition...
This one didn't make it, though it was the clear runner-up.  I wish I would have saved the other ones, but you can trust me.

Shaun made our winning doodle.

I sent it off to a friend and she worked her magic (It really is magic to me... I would have no idea where to start) and Viola!

Thanks, Drea!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

America = Cornhole + S'mores

Or that's at least what my neighbors think now.  I had a little get together last night where I introduced them to the joys of s'mores and cornhole!  This city living thing is tough.  ;)