What’s up friends and family?
Today, Yareli and I (Marilyn) were the Lideres del Dia. We started the day off by drinking one liter of electrolyte infused water. That stuff was nasty but it kept us super hydrated for all the hard work we did. Then, we hopped on the bus to head over to the parcel of a landowner named Anibal. The trees we chose to plant were based on his desires. He wanted a lot of trees with fruit to provide for the spider monkeys that inhabited the area. The parcel was a huge steep mountain with plenty of space for planting, but how steep the mountain was made it super difficult, but we managed. We planted with help from community members and international volunteers from Europe and the United States.
After digging, fertilizing, and planting for a few hours, we all ventured down to receive a home cooked meal of Sancocho with chicken. We also had a spicy sauce eating festivity jaja. We also got to know Ann and Virgil, two French volunteers that have been staying in Panama for three months. They do this kind of work every day! Ain’t that crazy? That is some hard work. After enjoying our lunch, we drove back to the hotel and enjoyed some down time.
Later on in the day, we had two amazing guest speakers from the transgender community in Las Tablas. They asked thought provoking questions about our own experiences regarding discrimination. They also spoke about what it is like being trans in Panama.
For me personally, the physical work we did earlier when planting trees made me feel really good about myself. I felt like everyone had this after-work glow from being so active. It’s also crazy that we’re literally creating a forest. I want to check back in a few years and see how the Global Glimpse forest is doing. It was also very eye opening to hear about the trans experience in a Latin American country because before I was more educated, I did not think there was much of a trans experience. But now I know so much more :).
As for Yareli, she says that she expected the Panamanian culture to be more closed minded towards transgender people than they are. Not that they are extremely open minded, but they are more open minded than she expected. Hearing the experiences the guest speakers have gone through really changed her views on the world.
Ciao for now!
Marilyn & Yareli
Also from Marilyn, a quick shoutout to my homies that keep up with the blog. Maren thanks for commenting on the posts I love you sooooo much and I miss you. I keep having moments where I’m like “woah Maren did the same thing I’m doing right now holy moly.” Shout out to my moms and my grandmama I see your comments and I appreciate them. P.S. mom, you don’t have to write your name as “Marilyn’s mom” you can just put your name if you want. And shout out “Caroline” haha and Hugo I guess idk. <3
A message from Yareli: You know what it do fam. Hey ma stop embarrassing me (but don’t stop really), but I love you. I told everybody about you and they want to meet you.