It is now Sunday and it is the first time I have been able to get to an internet cafe since coming to David. The trip up here from Panama City took 13 hours (usually 6) because of several roadblocks from the natives that are being affected by a possible copper mine that is being developed in their territory. So it was a hot, but very interesting trip. There were 8 of us in a minivan with the luggage on the roof. Our feet were on other bags and large melons we had bought. By the time we arrived it was pitch black. I was dropped off at the house where the family was waiting..la abuela Isabella (grandmother), los niños Eduardo and Alanis (the children) and the father Alan and mother Melitza. Plus 2 scrawny dogs outside and a cat inside. My meal was some little corn meal patties and a small portion of fried beef. But the welcome was genuine and I have been very well cared for. The kids are delightful and of course I am speaking a lot of Spanish. My head is so full of verbs and new words that i have trouble shutting off my brain at night.
The last few days have been a blur. I walked in the mountains nearby with another woman yesterday and was very happy to get outside and do some exercize. I spend the evenings at home and the children love the attention, the coloring and the old books that I brought to read to them. School starts tomorrow after the summer break so Alanis will be going into grade one. She corrects my mistakes in spanish.
I will be volunteering at a nutrition rehab center for children 1to 5. They are mostly natives and their situation seems pretty grave. That starts tomorrow. I take the bus at 7am.
I have given up on gourmet food for a while as the meals are very simple (last night mashed potatoes and fried slice of ham) and food quite costly. I know all that is waiting for me at home! There is an avocado tree and a mango tree in the yard so we will be eating them soon. That is why I came and I am savoring everything. Today as I walked here to explore the area, I passed a large marching band of teenagers practicing in the field. And last night the neighbours had a fiesta with loud music and fireworks late into the night. What an experience.
Hasta luego. I will try to send pictures next time once I am used to this computer.