“There is no starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.” – Walter Duranty

Is there anything preventing us from finishing the project? Is there anything else we can do for NutreHogar?

Our wake-up call came knocking at 8 am to be ready for our 8:30 breakfast time. The hotel kitchen staff prepared an original dish composed of cheese, butter, hard-boiled eggs, and sausages with a bowl of a variety of fruits. After a filling breakfast, the group left the hotel on the bus to NutreHogar for the final day of our CAP! To our complete shock and happiness, we were thrilled to see a group of 30 Panamanian students volunteering once the bus pulled into the parking lot. Our awareness campaign that went around the city the previous day was a success! The kids were caring for the babies when we arrived and had also brought an entire table’s worth of donations! We were so proud to see the community joining us on our project and hopefully will continue on the service and support after we are gone.

Once we said goodbye to the students (who continued on to school), we immediately set into work-mode. The painters rejoined their murals inside and refreshed the columns out front. The babysitters not only kept the infants entertained but helped clean some of the “messes” left behind by them (special shout-out to Kaitlyn for her particular situation). The landscapers went straight to some hard work in the outdoor heat clipping grass around the property, digging holes for the newly-bought plants to beautify the front yard, and painting rocks for the perimeter. The sewing group worked a full day making aprons (double-sided, pockets, ties, etc.) and bedsheets (enclosed to slide over and around the mattresses). The deep cleaning crew followed up again with sweeping and mopping and then wiping down every window in and outside the building. Two Glimpsers recorded and edited video of each section of the project for a future film. For our lunch break, we ate big plates of rice, noodles, and fried fish, which led to our now customary post-food siesta. After that, we returned to finish all of our work at 5pm – totally drained but extremely proud.

We will certainly rest, relax, and reset this weekend with our Free Day #2 and Fun Day. Tonight, we circled up for a very tense game of Mafia, where the townspeople and detective singled out every criminal in the community. Nathan was an amazing narrator, and Arleen filled the role of passionate accuser and desperate citizen. It was a hilarious and perfect way to end the long, hard CAP. Tomorrow, we will pick up our fresh laundry (round two) and enjoy the sights, sounds, and treasures of Las Tablas.

Signing off,

Hoang & Kenny

P.S. The cutarras arrived!