19 January 2009
Off to El Campo
I arrived in Panama City late Tuesday night and have been melting in the heat here; high 80s to low 90s every day! I've been staying with my host mom from study abroad and visiting friends from the last time I was here. This Saturday I went with my director from SIT to watch a friend in a canoe race in the canal. Their team came in second, losing only to the police team. In the afternoon there was a Jazz Festival in the old part of the city, Casco Viejo, that brought in groups from the New England Conservatory and Berkeley College of Music. Last night my host mom's brother brought a car full of sun-dried meat from one of his cattle that he had slaughtered over the weekend. We got two big buckets full to process and have been eating it since.
I'm currently in "The City of Knowledge" a section of the old US Fort Clayton that has been turned into the NGO center of Panama. CREA's office is located here and we're getting ready to go into the field tomorrow for 3 weeks. Our schedule is basically going to be 3 weeks in the field followed by 5 days in the city, but it will mainly depend on transport. There are two other volunteers here with me, one from Pittsburg and one from Germany. Both are really nice and I think we'll work together well.
I won't have any access to outside communication while I'm in the field, unless my Panamanian cell phone works....supposedly if I climb one of the hills I can get service.
Hello to all and I'll have more pictures and details when I come back to the city in Feb.