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Step one 

“I may be facing the impossible, I may be chasing after miracles, and there may be the steepest mountain to overcome, but this is step one” 

For anyone who has seen “Kinky Boots” this song should be pretty familiar. 

I’ve almost hit 6 months in country! Counting down till August 24th when I can celebrate ~officially~. This is what the first 6 months of being in peace corps looks like:

  • First 10 weeks: training. 8 hours a day 5 days a week. Lots of mandated trips on Saturdays.
  • Head to your site!
  • Spend 3 months observing and preparing your school and community analysis to present to your school, community, counterparts, and boss. 

Basically I’ve been doing a lot of classroom observation but now that period is over and I can start doing things in the class with my counterpart teachers! 

Since I last posted an update on my life some things have happened. Some of those things were great! Others-not so much. Let’s start with the less positive. My computer stopped charging. Fingers crossed that it’s just the charger because my amazing parents are sending me a new one. If it’s the battery then it looks like I’ll be buying a new computer. If that’s the case I’ve lost a ton of my photos from Panama because I was backing all my phone pictures up there. Moving on to good things! I moved into my new house! 

This was not the place I was planning to live in originally but it’s a better size and closer to my host family. Unfortunately it only has a latrine right now but I’ve been told that they’ll be putting a toilet inside as soon as they get a septic tank! I’m looking forward to that day. I also have a ton of fruit growing in my backyard! There are plantain trees, orange trees, pineapple plants, a tomato plant, and a palm tree that I’m hoping gives me coconuts. I’ll hopefully be starting a garden out back too. ​

​On Thursday I presented my school and community needs analysis to my counterparts, my boss, and a representative from the ministry of education who was nice enough to take time out of her crazy schedule to come see it. It went pretty well! The whole thing was in Spanish and I think people are pretty on board with all of my project ideas which is exciting. As my boss pointed out I’ll have to be careful not to wear myself too thin. 

We’ve had a couple of celebrations in the school lately too. All of the students decorated the school for a competition by an organization called FANLYC. They work with the families of children with leukemia and other cancers. Unfortunately I don’t have any digital photos of the event-my mom sent me a care package that included my instax camera and my students were OBSSESSED. They absolutely loved seeing the pictures develop and I heard many cries of “teacher saca un foto de yo!” throughout  the day. 

like christmas in july!

We also celebrated a local baseball team winning some competition in the US! I’ve tried to find info about or photos of the game online but haven’t had any luck. The team paraded through the streets on a firetruck and the school band played music for them. In Panama marching bands are incredibly popular and it’s kind of rare for an elementary school to have a band so my school is very proud of it. The kids got out of school for a few hours to see all of the parade! ​

I got to spend a few days in Panama City to get some cavities filled and while I was there my computer decided it didn’t want to work anymore. Fingers crossed that it’s the charger because my parents are sending me a new one (thanks mom and dad!). Now I get to spend some time adjusting to living on my own for the first time-something that surprises a lot of people here. It’s very unusual for anyone in Panama to live alone and it’s especially strange for a young woman to be doing it. I think I’m doing all right though. I made and hung my own curtain so I think I’m adulting fairly well.  Last but certainly not least; I adopted kittens(sorry mom and dad!).They still need names so I’m open to suggestions. The one with more black fur is a girl and the other is a boy! 

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