Race over Panama

We, the PALCS students split up into two (2) groups to canvas businesses for donations for the Annual Education Rally Palcs runs.  Group one consists of Alex Hertzler, Natalie Hurd, Moriah Conant, and Rebeca Altieri, as their leader. Group two consists of Jeannette Neal, Colleen Cartmell, Julia Minster, and J.P. Loftus as their leader. Each group took one side of the street in the town of  Boquete to get donations for the festival that we are having on April 9th, 2011 at the park.  We all worked hard to get donations for the festival, and are ready to perform in front of the people in Panama.

Zip Lining

Today we went zip lining and it was amazing. The view was nothing like any one on this trip has seen before, being 6,000 feet up a mountain surrounded by waterfalls, trees, and flowers. The zip lining also let some people get over fears like a lot of other activities we have done so far. This has been one of my favorite things that we have done so far. The tour guides were very friendly and helped encouraged the people who were scared to participate. Some students would also try to help the scared students to feel more comfortable and enjoy the trip more.

Panama :)

Panama is amazing. And very bonita! (beautiful) We have been here almost two weeks, sadly it is going by way too fast, I wish it was longer than this. The views in Boquete, where we are staying, are awesome, there is a volcano very close and at times you can see the fog rolling off of it or the clouds setting on top. It rains every now and then but its been around seventy to eighty degrees each day. The activities that we have gone on are awesome! Today we went zip lining, which was indescribable in how cool of an experience it was. Needless to say I would love doing it again and again, along with all the other activities we have been doing. Working with everyone to canvas businesses and work on the skit we are doing is pretty fun, doesn’t really seem like work. We have a pretty good team this year here, I think anyone would love coming. Especially for girls because there are some very guapo (handsome) guys here! To make my experience here blunt, I would move here if I could, I absolutely love it.

-Colleen

Habla Ya

The teachers at Habla Ya are really great. My teacher Christoffer Clark is so helpful and great. To day we were really hungry so he took us to the supermarket. On the way we practiced our Spanish and discussed Panamanian culture. I really like attending Habla Ya. Both times I have come on this trip every thing was great. The chaperones, Habla Ya professors, the festival and all the side trips we take are perfect. If you want to learn more Spanish and experience Latin Americana culture then I recommend the Panama trip for you.

Night at the Beach

On Friday night, we camped out on the beach on the island, Boca Chica. The guy who owns the hostal we’ve been staying at, Axl, owned the area and suggested we camp out. We started by taking a boat to the resort and climbed a bunch of stairs. That should have been the work out for the day. Maybe it would have been if I didn’t eat fries for lunch. Anyway, after lunch, we started our trip to our camping spot. Alonso, the guy who is dating one of Axl’s daughters, took us hiking for three hours. This was great fun, because we were all lugging around our camping gear in a rainforest which was dreadfully humid. So, again, mucho fun times! :) Then in April Fool’s Day fashion, Alonso then informed us we could have taken a boat to a part of the island which was just a ten minute hike from our camping location. April Fools! I was laughing a lot when we got on that boat. Alonso is one funny dude. Anyway, we boated to the island and trudged our way through the mud to get to the beach.

Boca Chica was crazy beautiful. We got there at about 6 pm which was the time of the sunset. It was gorgeous. We got the firewood and then went swimming in the water for an hour. That was the best ocean I have ever swam in. There were barely any waves and it was very calm. Plus, the water was basically the most perfect temperature. I would have stayed in all night, but we were informed that the animals that live in the water like to hunt all night. As much fun as being a snack is, we decided to get out of the water. We then sat around the fire for a while. For me, it was about all night.  Anyway, a lot of us were stargazing and we saw a shooting star! It was amazing! I had never seen one before! It looks like fireworks. Then, some people slept in the tents and the rest of us basically sat around the fire and JP tended the fire all night until like four in the morning when he was asleep. Four in the morning was not my favorite hour. One, I was the only one awake. Two, there were monkeys all around us who were hollering and yelling really loudly. We couldn’t even see them. Three, the tide was getting closer and closer to the fire. Then it was finally light out and we packed up our completely soiled and mildewed stuff and headed out to San Felix.

In conclusion, it was a very fun night. It was really cool sleeping (or not sleeping) on the beach and being able to see all of the stars. It was gorgeous and amazing weather.

San Felix Mission

A few nights ago we spent the night at a mission in San Felix.  After spending the night at the beach, and going to a different beach earlier that day, I was just happy to have a proper shower. Once I got the sand out of my hair and the salt off my skin, we met in the cafeteria for a spaghetti dinner.

 

Coleen and I agreed to trade parts in the Ngobe mime skit. I now play the second Ngobe girl, the same part I had last year. I’m very excited to wear the Ngobe dress and to have a bigger part in the skit than I had before.

 

Later that night Jeannette and I decided to make a fort by hanging towels off the top bunk of our bed. The two of us spent the night in our fort. We named it Waffles and Nachos, witch was also the password.

 

The next morning we packed our things and climbed back into the van for an other “adventure”.



Panama

I am really enjoying Panama.

Salsa Dancing

Tonight we had salsa dancing lessons in Boquete, and it was amazing. Our teachers were very funny and taught us well. It was pretty easy, even though I have two left feet when it comes to dancing. There were other people around too and they were very friendly and did not mind us taking up a lot of room. Every once in a while we would switch partners, and me and my last partner got the one step down very well. I have never learned this dance before and it was a neat way to experience the cultural difference. This has been one of my many high lights of the trip, and I will probably never again experience this. This trip has also made me come out of my shell more because I know, with some activities, I will never have another chance to do it.

Hot Spring in Caldera

Today we hiked to the hot spring in Caldera. We had a tour tour guide help found the way. It wasn’t that long of a hike, but I’m glad I have bug spray other then that it was awesome. I have a blast! When we got to the hot springs I didn’t go into the hot spring because it was way to hot for me. I did put my feet in the water with Roy (Rebeca) and we jumped out. We saw our tour guided he was playing with a monkey. He’s a very friendly monkey and loves people. He likes it when you pick him up and hold him and when you are blinded by his cuteness he will steal you belonging such as your shoes and socks. He was cute and he knew it too. When we weren’t looking he tried to run off with shoes and a water bottle. When I wasn’t looking he jump on my head and scared me. When I put him on the ground he hug my leg. He was so a cute. After we left the hot springs we when to the river. The monkey follow us all to the river. He didn’t jump in the river with us instead he laid in a tree for a bit and then when back home. The river was so refreshing. It was nice and cold which was perfect on a hot, and wasn’t too deep. It was beautiful at the river, surrounded by tall trees and on the far side of the river you could see wild flowers. There was awesome many rocks you could climb on. Mrs. Aungst got a sun tan in the middle of the river sitting on a rock. I had a lot of fun today.

Donations

We have received so many donations from the local businesses.   They have donated paper plates, cupcakes, hummus, meals, and much more. The people here are so kind and understanding.  There are still a few places that we can ask for donations. Hopefully this will be the best festival ever.