After a lengthy application, a highly anticipated acceptance letter, a very strict medical clearance process, and 2 domestic and 1 international flight, I am finally in Panama! I started saying my goodbyes to my loved ones after a small get-together that my wonderful angel of a mother prepared for me. On Tuesday, my mom and cousin dropped me off at the airport right on time for the inevitable waterworks. Although I’m used to being away from home, this goodbye was especially difficult because of the amount of time that I won’t be seeing my mom and family. It was also a scary thought that although my PC job description was saved in my e-mail, there was no way to predict what life in Panama would be like.
I flew into Dallas, TX where I met up with the rest of the volunteers for Staging. At staging we did some ice breakers and reviewed expectations and responsibilities associated with being a PCV. The event lasted from about 2-7pm and then my roommate Enid and I had dinner with some other volunteers at a Mexican restaurant because my love for that stuff is unreal. In order to catch our flight to Miami, we met in the lobby and were ready to go at 2am. Jealous yet?
The next 2 flights to Miami and Panama were pretty snooze I mean smooth, since I slept through both of them. PC staff greeted us at the airport and then a bus drove us into the city. Commercial – I am typically the person to not only pack everything in sight, but also overpack things that I definitely won’t use, but this time I was really mindful and only packed the things that were suggested. Even so, my bags were so heavy and even though I was also tired and sleep deprived, I struggled A LOT con esas maletas tan pesadas. I bet you’re jealous now. End Commercial – I’m not even going to try to sugarcoat it. The humidity was real. It wasn’t as hot as I feared but it was enough to give me a natural glow aka a fresh coat of sweat.
The drive into Panama City was beautiful and so is the place we’ve been at for the last 4 days, la Ciudad del Saber. We’ve been staying in dorms near the PC office because our training started on Thursday. Everything has been great so far, from the food to the weather and volunteers. Everyone is super nice and excited to get into our sites! Today we visited a PCV who is halfway through her service. Her site was in Santa Rita de Antón and super beautiful.
Tomorrow we will be moving in with our temporary host families for the rest of training, and I am so excited! I’m sort of breezing through everything that has happened so far but I’ll be blogging again soon to give an update about my host family and my days in Panama. Ciao!