It has been nearly a week since I left Panama. It was a long and difficult project, but the outcome was good. A well was drilled on Isla Tigre, a toilet installed for Simon, a pump repaired for Viviana’s community well and the 2,400′ pipeline bringing water to the school and mangrove houses was complete. During my last week, I was able to work with the community to install the septic tank, leach tank, leach ditch and piping associated with the toilet and shower drain for Justa, the schoolteacher. The community was left with the tasks of pouring the concrete floor (which they completed on Saturday) and building the bathroom enclosure (hopefully to be complete on their next community work day).
I am excited to see how far we have come with the fundraiser!
$15,000 raised of our $20,000 goal!
I have switched over to a new platform provided by Indigogo called Generosity. The campaign has the same perks (rewards), however I am able to extend the end date. I am hoping that we can raise the remaining $5,000 over the next two weeks and conclude this campaign around mid-December. If you would like to share, please copy this link for Gift a Goat & More!
Below are some photos/stories from Panama:
“The unwanted houseguest”
I am not usually grossed out by bugs/spiders/etc. I am only really jumpy around snakes (ugh, I hate snakes). Anyway, this cockroach was hanging out in my bathroom one morning. Kathy was staying with me at the time and after a long discussion on the best way for us to proceed with getting rid of our unwelcome guest, we decided the best plan was to call Jim 🙂
“Panama Mud and the 1984 Children’s movie”
There is mud.
soft, sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water.
Than there is Panama Mud.
strong, sticky matter that grabs your boots with intense suction and pulls you slowly and forcefully into the depths of the smelly mixture of earth and water.
One day, walking the pipeline, I stepped in the wrong spot. The more I tried to wiggle out, the deeper I sunk.
I got so stuck that it reminded me of the swamps of sadness in “The NeverEnding Story.” I was going to disappear forever like that poor horse, Artax.
I was in full view of some of the Ngobe adults in the houses on the hill behind me, but it isn’t really part of there culture to get involved. I was probably entertaining to watch anyway 🙂
I ended up losing a boot to the fight with the mud.
I walked the rest of the line and in the village with one boot. I made the community leader laugh out loud when I told him “the mud ate my boot.” This joke would come up over the weeks as the story made its way around the village.
My first flight was delayed a few hours due to the rain. I arrived at the main airport in Panama City as passengers were already boarding my plane to Miami. I was sure I was missing it. I mean, you need to arrive 2 hours before an international flight and here I was dragging my bags to the front desk with 40 minutes to spare. The agent at the desk told me the flight was closed. I explained that my first flight was late and I was just hoping to get on the later flight out of Panama. He left the counter to talk to another lady and then proceeded to print out boarding passes. He handed me the passes, looked me right in the eyes and said “Run.”
Run I did.
The ladies at the immigration counter looked at my ticket, looked at the clock and shook their heads. Still trying to move as quick as possible, I acknowledged that I knew I was late, but that I was told to run.
Run some more.
I made it to the gate, and while passengers were still boarding, I had time to catch my breath and update my family that I was going to be making it out of Panama.
I didn’t expect my bags to make it. The flight was closed, so even though I made it – my bags were not the priority. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know who was running with my luggage, but when I landed in Miami, so did my bags 🙂
Photos from New Jersey 🙂
Thank you all for your support of the projects and for keeping the community in your prayers.
It is great to be home for the holidays and I hope to be able to see most of you while on my break!