Sunday, July 18, 2010
After the day with our families yesterday, we started off this day by going to the Santa Clara beach. The weather for doing that today was perfect! I don't think it even rained at all today! We had a lot of fun throwing a frisbee around, going into the ocean, and just relaxing! Then, we went back home to our families from 12-5. From there, all of us went to Nutre Hogar for the Cena de Despedida. The night there started off with a PowerPoint presentation of us with the kids at Nutre Hogar and with our families, followed by a DVD showing what the Panama Service Project is all about. Then, all of our host parents talked about what they liked most about us. From there, the final thing we did before the dinner was thank our families for having us. We had to do this on-the-fly, but we managed to do well. Finally, we had a dinner of rice and chicken, patacones, and potato salad. During this time, we also got some gifts, which included such things as T-shirts, hats, and many other things. Then, once that was all over, our families took us back to our houses. Because this is the last time I'll have access to the Internet, I'm also going to be telling you what we will be doing tomorrow. First, we will be going to Nutre Hogar from 8-10 to say good-bye to all of the kids and the people who work there. From there, we will then go to the Santa Clara beach to spend 2 hours there. We're also going to have a lunch there. Then, we will be going to Panama City to shop in a craft store. Later, we will have dinner, and then go to our hotel for the night. Then, on Tuesday, we have to wake up early to get our bags packed in the bus, have breakfast, and then be on our way to the airport. Thanks so much to all of you who have commented and looked at this blog, especially you, Mom. It's just so amazing how fast this trip went, and the fact that I can tell all of you what we have done on this amazing trip!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Today was a big change of emotion for us. After our 3-4 hour drive to the Nobe-Buglé Indian Reservation, the way that we pictured malnurished children changed. At this Reservation, there is a Centro Comunitario or community center, in which the women from the villages bring their malnurished children to be evaluated. While that was going on, we had jobs such as sorting clothes for the children, and picking up garbage on the side of the road. After waiting a couple hours for the children to get evaluated, we then took the ones that needed to go to Nutre Hogar. The children felt sad to leave their parents, and me and everyone else felt the same way too. When we got back to Nutre Hogar, the children got washed, weighed, and got clothes. Even though they had to be taken away from their parents to spend 6 months to a year here, they will soon know that it will benefit them in the long run.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Today marks our last full day with the children at Nutre Hogar. This was our final day to play with the kids and they will sure miss us when we say goodbye to them this coming Monday. Unfortunately, the sun didn't come out at all today. But, that didn't stop our pool party at Hostal Villa Esperanza! We had a lot of fun swimming in their pools! They have one small pool along with a hot tub on an upper level, and on the lower level, a kiddie pool with much shallower water, along with a toy motorcycle to sit on. Most of us were able to swim before the rain hit us, which was at sometime after 1 in the afternoon. I can't believe how fast this trip has gone! We only have 5 more days here in Panama, 4 of them consisting of being with our families. I have been very lucky to update this daily, so thanks for sticking with me!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Nutre Hogar has been really fun for us. In terms of the weather today, it was nice in the morning, and then the rain hit us in the afternoon. Unfortunately, we weren't able to take the kids all the way outside, but they have an outdoor patio on which they could play on. It's not quite the same as being outside, but it's something for them. Then, after our morning of working at Nutre Hogar, we had about an hour and a half bus ride to what was supposed to be our visit to Centro Comunitario Copé de Olá. In order to get there, we had to go over a dirt road, which we couldn't do today, because the dirt road was virtually impassible because of all of the rain we got this afternoon. Once we got to that dirt road, we actually had to turn around and start dropping everyone off at their homes again! It would have been nice to actually see where these children of Nutre Hogar came from, but we weren't able to. We'll just have to visualize this. More updates to come tomorrow!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I have some great news to tell all of you! We finally got some nice weather! So today, we were able to take the kids outside to play. We had a lot of fun walking around with them, pushing them down the slide and swings, along with all of the other fun stuff that Nutre Hogar offers for them! Then, after Nutre Hogar, we went to visit some museums. First, we went to the Museo de Penonomé. There, we saw a lot of the history that made up the country of Panama. After that, we went to this one place that was about to become a museum. They only had a few paintings there, but, they had a lot of other things to offer. There was also an outdoor cafe, a soon-to-be ampetheater, as well as some houses close by. Hopefully this warm weather will continue, so we can do more fun outdoor activities here!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Things have been going really well for us here at Nutre Hogar. We have really enjoyed playing with all of the kids! Feeding them is fun as well! Some of us actually got there early enough to feed them breakfast! From playing with a ball, to reading them stories, they really know how to have fun! For those who don't know this, July is the peak of the rainy season in Panama. So, a lot of the time here, we have had a lot of rain. If it weren't raining a lot, we would actually be able to play with the kids on the swingset that they have outside. But, we can't control/predict the weather, so we'll just have to pray for the sun to come out!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Today, we went on a trek at Cerro La Vieja. For those of you who don't know Spanish, Cerro La Vieja literally translates to ¨Old Woman Mountain¨. Here, we did a 2.5 hour trek through the jungle. The trails were very rugged, and consisted of many steep up and downhill slopes, along with a couple river crossings. A lot times during this trek, there was a lot of garbage on the side of or directly on the path. We set a good example and we all helped pick up a lot of the garbage. Then, towards the end of the trek, we got to go to this part of the river that had a huge waterfall! There were spots on there where we could jump into the water too! That was really fun! For the final part of this journey, we went back to the main hotel that we did this through and we had a lunch there. The meal included selections such as rice, something that looked like calamari, many different types of fruits, and a desert of carrot cake or banana bread. During our lunch, we also watched the final game of the World Cup! For those of you who didn't get to catch the game, the final score was: The Netherlands - 0, Spain - 1! After all of this, we then drove back to Penonomé. Overall, it was fantastic day, and one that will definately be remembered!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Today is our 1st official day here at Nutre Hogar. But first, before I tell you more about it, I'm going to tell you what we did our first 2 days. On Wednesday, we went to an indigenous village named Emberá. The natives there told us all about their culture and customs, showed us some medicinal plants, shared a meal with us, and they also invited us to do one of their traditional dances with them. It was an educational and life-changing experience! Then, on Wednesday, we went to the Panama Canal and the Santa Clara beach. Most people don’t get to see anything like the Panama Canal, so we were very lucky to see it! We even got to see a boat go through! The beach was nice as well! It was very hot that day and the ocean cooled us off nicely! Now, I'm going to tell you more about Nutre Hogar. All of the kids here are very happy to see us and are really playful! They are all very fortunate to be here because a lot of the kids here in Penonomé aren´t able to get this kind of treatment. If Nutre Hogar wasn't here, these kids wouldn't have the nutrition that they need to live a healthy life. We will try our best to update this daily, so then you know what's going on.