Today we woke up early to get a good head start on our first full day in Chitre, our host city.
After a tasty breakfast we came together as a group for a seminar in important safety regulations for all of our Glimpsers here in Panama. Safety first! In the second half of the seminar we discussed some of the cultural differences we’re likely to experience here in country.
After our Seminar we set out for our first local excursion to the town of La Arena, a town known for its artisan crafts here in the Herrera Province. In La Arena we were. We learned some history about crafts in the area from local craftsman Don Lucrecio Batista, a third generation pottery maker. We learned about the cultural significance of pottery within Panama and how the government funds programs to help insure the relevance of pottery here in Panama moving forward. Don Lucrecio then demonstrated the making of some beautiful pots on the pottery wheel, he made it look much easier than it is! After the demonstrations Glimpsers were able to take turns trying their hand on the wheel while the rest of us painted small pots which we were graciously gifted.
After coming back to Hotel Bali for lunch we hopped back in the bus for our second local excursion of the day. We loaded up and made our way to La Capsula, a local dance studio. Eduardo, our teacher for the day, started us off with a fun warmup to get loose and then went on to teach us three Panamanian folkloric dances including, La Danesa, El Punto y Viva Panama! We all had a great time moving our feet and bodies and learning about Panamanian culture through movement. At the end of our class we were treated to a dance by two of our Glimpsers, Derek and Grayson.
Our night cap consisted of a reflection session in which we broke into small groups and spent time getting to know one another on a deeper level. That was then followed by our nightly meeting where we reviewed the day and began prepping for tomorrow.
BIG LOVE to Glimpser Oscar who is on his way home to be with his family. We’ll all miss his great great energy and positive outlook.