After arriving in Panama this past Wednesday, Group 73 moved into a hotel/dorm type of scenario in Ciudad del Saber (City of Knowledge), which is located on the outer skirts of Panama City. Over the past two days we've had mostly administrative meetings filled with paperwork and meet & greets. They also had an unannounced blood draw from all of the girls to ensure we aren't pregnant, which nearly sent me into tears since the mere thought of needles can get to me. One of my new friends distracted me the whole time though, so it wasn't so bad.
Today we got to spend the day at a Peace Corps site about an hour and a half away from Panama City, and it was awesome. Jim, the volunteer there, works more on the agriculture side of things than I will be, but he's been incredibly successful with projects in fish tanks, rice tanks, plantains, coffee, composting, and other random vegetables.
The farmers who work with Jim were with us throughout the day, and you could tell they were so proud of what they have accomplished and so appreciative of Jim's efforts. The visit made me more excited than ever to to find out which community I'll be working in and get to work!
Tomorrow we move out of Ciudad del Saber and into our host families' homes in Los Mortales, a rural community outside of Panama City. Though I'm a little nervous to move in with complete strangers, I'm excited to have a host family to spend time and practice Spanish with. Hopefully this experience will be as positive as my last one!
PCV Jim's house
These ponds are specially built fish tanks. They house anywhere from 150-400 Tilapia and Carp and give the farmers both food and fertilizer to use on other crops.