Today CH2B explored what living like a local Panamanian entailed. This experience included in depth conversations with real locals, all of whom spoke only Spanish, and eating like a local. Our day started bright and early with a 5:30 am wake up call, leading straight into a breakfast of sausage, cheese for non-meat eaters, and bollos, a traditional food made of corn (similar to polenta).
Shortly after completing breakfast, we headed straight to París de Parita, where we met our host mothers and attended a mass in order to support one of the mothers who was singing and playing the guitar. Afterwards, we split into different groups in order to enter the home of one specific mother. In these groups we asked questions, took tours, and held conversations with these women and their families. We saw what a regular day looked like and what it is like living in a close-knit community.
This community was invested in the lives of every member. We watched as these women took time out of their day to say hello to people passing by. They offered food and beverages to anyone who came near and went out to support everyone in times of needs. They spoke to us about times when they came together to solve problems, such as a water shortage in the 70s. Additionally, they told us of times when the community assisted them in their time of need. We saw the joy that filled their faces with each interaction, both with us and the community.
We were offered a real chance to participate in this joy as we competed in a soccer game with local kids. The smiles of the children and the parents in the stands gave us a true portal into how fulfilling life in this community might be. While this community suffered from financial struggles, this small game revealed that despite all they face they are able to overcome and celebrate the small moments. This was yet again seen as the church united in order to celebrate the birthday of Maria, one of our host mothers.
Mom, Dad…I HELD A CONVERSATION IN SPANISH TODAY. Miss you guys, Love you
Hi Mom, Dad, Dylan, and Pat (and Koda). Miss you and see you in 11 days. Love you.