I have noticed two policies that are either implicitly or explicitly strict in the Peace Corps:
1.)Suck it up. Be flexible. And stay that way. Be ready to hurry up and wait.
2.) ALWAYS follow the rules - except when its more convenient and justifiable to break them.
I'm exhausted but honestly, Panama City may as well be some parts of Miami. You should see the sky scrapers and absolutely massive hotels downtown. For the first few days we stayed on the land of an old army base that now houses the Peace Corps HQ in country as well as a lot of the Bureaucracy for UNDP. Oh, and did I mention FSU (yes the Seminoles) campus was in the compound as well? Its amazing what imperialism does.
Im currently staying with a family outside the main part of the city. This is where I will be staying for the next ten weeks as we have 4 hours of language training every morning and 4 hours of technical training in the afternoon. There are 16 other Aspirantes (trainees) in the same Barrio all from the CEC project. We spent a majority of yesterday in the interior with a CEC Volunteer who, through grants from USAID - who predictably also is looking to work in the Canal Zone, has designed and is implementing at least two community based projects, one for solid waste management and one for ecotourism management.
Though he smelled like the back of a restaurant, he seems to really be making great strides and has trained a number of local board members to take over the projects once they are off the ground. He also had organized the community to take on community gardening to supplement the nutrition deficient gruel the children receive at school. So Kudos to him and the active members of that community.
It seems that I will have regular access to the internet if not a long distance phone for the next few weeks before we receive our posts at which point I will probably fall off the earth. So I shall definitely keep this posted until then and include pics ASAP.
Ver es Vivir!