One of the first projects in Panama was to check out a new community called Dejada for a potential rain catchment system. Dejada was described as being near another community that I thought was called “Charcoal.” It sounded like “Charcoal” or “Sharcoal,” but it was neither. It was called “Shark Hole.” I am not joking- I felt a little less excited about going in Simon’s cayuco when I found out the real name. I woke up to morning thunderstorms the day we planned to go so we cancelled it for the following week. I mean, who wants to end up in the water in “Shark Hole?” Not me 😉
We made it to Dejada a week later to check out the community. Thirty-eight people live in the five houses located in the small community. Their current water source is a creek, but I didn’t see it. They said it would take an hour to walk one-way and we didn’t have much time available during our first visit. The boat ride through Shark Hole was uneventful. We took a Panga (the boat Simon is driving in the top photo), which is more stable than a cayuko. Since we were in the Panga, I was sort of looking forward to seeing a shark, but they didn’t pop up. They were scared of me, I’m sure 😉
Jim and Kathy came to visit and volunteer on the islands at the end of May. They had quite an adventure flying in – they were diverted to Columbia during a thunderstorm and ended up overnighting in Panama City and eventually made it to Bocas on the first flight the next morning. They got right to work at Asilo (a senior home/asylum in Bocas) when they arrived. Jean, a nurse from the States, is the heart of Asilo. She is awesome! Shirlene met us at Asilo and we all worked there on the first day that Jim and Kathy arrived. Kathy worked in her field of occupational therapy with a recent amputee and a few others who needed strength and agility, Shirlene helped Jean with some of the patients needing medical attention while Jim and I fixed wheelchairs.
It was so cool to watch Kathy in her element. This is the first time she has served on a missions project in her field of occupational therapy. She worked at Asilo on Isla Colon (Bocas Del Toro) the whole time she was here in Panama. Jim worked at Asilo the first day and worked on Isla Solarte for the rest of the time. Both of them enjoyed their time here and I, as always, LOVED having them around 🙂
There is a very small community of three homes adjacent to the Wood family (where I live) opposite the community we constructed the water line in last fall.We drilled a well last May in the community, but the homes are pretty far apart so I asked for a few volunteers from Youth With A Mission to help me drill a well for Nelson (who lives farthest from the existing well). Typically, it is best for the community to be drilling the well together, but in this particular community, Nelson is the only adult male in the community. It is too hard for just one or two people to drill a well, so I asked for some volunteers from the YWAM base nearby and three hardworking DTS students came to help us.
The guys worked really well together. I asked Simon (Panama) to be the leader since I had been training him on how to teach drilling to others. Simon demonstrated drilling to Nelson and the volunteers. We drilled two boreholes and cased the second borehole well. The water continues to flow great! This particular well has a better flow than the well we drilled last spring in the community.
I know this update is a month overdue, but I will be updating more next week to catch everyone up on what has been going on here in Panama!