The Panamanian Life

Posted by on February 23, 2014

Hello everyone,
Long time no see. The reason for that was because I left for about a week and a half long trip where I did not have any type of internet access and very minimal phone-line access. Let me say it here first, not having internet for a week is tough. I mean really tough… Like I don’t know how others can it for extended amounts of time tough. Anyways, I am currently staying with my main homestay family. Their names are Lucy (mother), Lizzy (daughter), and Louise (father) and another house-stayer like me named Toby. They are all great. Especially Lucy and Toby, the two I talk with the most in the house. They both are able to speak English but they only talk to me in Spanish and they have really helped me to improve my Spanish. I am also lucky because my host family has internet, which some of the other homestays do not have.
Additionally, I have been busy with the different school schedule. I think it is more comparative to summer school because there are a lot of classes crammed into a narrow window of time. For example, a typical school day for me is to wake up at 6:45am to be at the bus stop at 7:30 so I can be at class by 8. Then we have class from 8-12 where we have lunch til 1:30 which usually ends 4:30 but sometimes it ends at 5. Then I go back to my house or run to the store where I get back to the house at 5:30 or later. Then I have to shower afterwards because of all the sweat from the humidity. Then I have homework. I have to admit it is very reminiscent of high school because of the time occupied by school. To summarize, there isn’t much free time. The workload is different because everything is much more open. “Write however you feel about this. Think of something that can be tested and design an experiment for that.” The freedom is awesome.
However the days are broken apart often by field trips to different places. As I mentioned earlier I had returned from trip and it was interesting because I got to stay in an indigenous house. I had a brother there pronounced Limber. He is a Guna, a Panama inhabitant dealing with the changes from his community’s culture to the Panamian/Western culture. I was blown away by the simplistic nature of the village. The villages version of fun involved walking, talking, and playing sports. There were few houses with electricity and fewer with a television. I found it interesting that my Guna brother had to pay to charge his phone at someone’s house because there was no electricity at our house. The most memorable part of the Guna trip for me was watching a lot of Guna’s perform a play of their history in Panama. They also performed the traditional dance for us. Speaking of dances, we also recently visited another indigenous tribe called the Embera, and we got to buy their crafts and dance with them.
I have gotten to do other things including playing volleyball with the entire class, going to see a famous reggae artist, playing basketball, do transects in two different places, learn and identify different types of coral and their contribution to their community, and learn the brief history of the political system in Panama. All which I could spend some time discussing, but I do not think it is necessary.
Lastly, as the days pass, I am wondering if it is possible to turn into a grain of rice or a drumleg of chicken because the meal is VERY common here; especially in the school cafeteria and during dinner. A lot of the students (including me) have decided to buy some food that reminds them of home and helps them forget typical chicken and rice. I find it hilarious because we all ended up buying peanut butter.
Next update will likely be after the test and Spanish dramatization I have to do this week.
Peace, Love, Happiness
*P.S* After tinkering with my phone to try and upload pictures onto the blog I couldn’t get it to work. I will try to take more pictures with my actual camera to see if it will upload those for the next blog. Sorry!

2 Responses to The Panamanian Life

  1. Jay and Kelsye

    Kelsye and I are also enjoying a meal of chicken and rice, I hope you are doing well in Panama!

    • Jacolvy Garcia

      It is much appreciated. Now you only need to eat it lunch and dinner everyday. I am doing very well and thanks for the first comment!