Ok, I guess this is the real thing...
- Hey all, I am forwarding this from Shazia Davis who is currently serving in Panama. Her email is shaziadavis@... but note as she says in the email she doesn't have much access. Cheers, DebbieHey guys! First of all, I am sorry but I definately do not have time to write all of you guys back, and really not even time to read all of the 50 emails I have in my inbox right now, but just know that I sincerely miss you and and hope everything is going well. I am able to get to internet for the first time today in a week and I only have about 10 minutes, so we´ll see what I have time to say.....I am at a training site in Panama called Santa Clara, about 40 minutes or so by car, an hour and a half by bus to Panama City. It is not the Santa Clara you see on the map by the beaches and stuff. It is a small town, not really even a town, they call it a pueblo, kindof a village. There is no postal system at all in Panama, as in there are no road signs or street addresses. People get post office boxes in the closest city and have to go into the city periodically to check to see if they have mail. You find the place you are going to if you get lost by asking for a certain person´s house. I am living with a family who I will be with for the next 10 weeks. They speak no english at all. I am using a letrine, which is basically an outhouse for all intensive purposes. To wash we have this small pipe that goes up a tree and a little spicket that constantly drips this small stream of water into this giant sortof thing (it´s like the trash containers I remember as a kid burning stuff in that are about as high as your chest). The water has been dripping into this bin for who knows how long, so I´m probably not the cleanest anymore! We just have a big bowl that we grab the water out of the bin with and dump it over our heads. It´s outside with these broken slabs on concrete to stand on. I´ll have to say the first bucket was rough, but I´m definately getting used to it. It´s outside about 20-30 feet from the house.The house is made of concrete slabs with a tin roof and it´s on the top of a giant loma (hill). There are no doors, just curtains. The bugs are super bugs. The ants are huge and fly and bite here. The flies are twice as big, twice as loud and also bite. We have job training 4 hours a day in the middle of a rainforest under a palm thatched roof kindof hut that we get through by tracking through quite a bit of mud. Then we have 4 hours of Spanish class, so at the end of the day I am definately really tired. They absolutely love carbohydrates here and so the diet basically consists of a lot of fried food, tons of rice, and this really hard meat that I think is beef, lots of bread, and beans. I have gotten fruit sometimes and started to ask for it....taking lots of vitamins. We have like 15 chickens and 15 more baby chickens. It´s really weird to see the chickens eat the chicken bones when we have chicken.We got to visit another volunteer living in an indiginous village with Embera indians and that was really cool. I was going to send pictures but I don´t have time, sorry! Hope you are all doing well and I´ll try to write again soon but I don´t think I´ll be in a town again for 2 weeks.Talk to you guys later. Love, SHAZ
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