In Rain or Shine 

Everyone looks so happy because this boat ride was only 45 minutes long 😉

It has been nearly two and a half weeks since I arrived in Panama and I haven’t written! I tried. I started writing an update on Monday, but I couldn’t get photos to load and just shut off my computer and got distracted with other tasks. Distracted until today (Thursday) when my lovely “Public Relations” boss (Melissa) sent me a message that said “This is a reminder that I love you and you need to write a blog post.” I read that with the emphasis on Blog Post 😉

So much has happened in the short time that I have been here that I should have written two blog posts, but here we go…oh, p.s. If there are any typos, I am blaming the ants walking on my keyboard. They are small, annoying, they bite and they like to mess up my spelbing 😉

Four days after I arrived (and got projects set up), Jessica, Kat, Pat & Zack joined me in Panama. What a hard working team! They never complained even when I knew the conditions were difficult.

This 2.5 hours boat ride was rough. The sun cooked us on the first day and on the day we returned, it rained. The rain and wind combo made the trip very cold (which isn’t something that I usually have a problem with in Panama!)

We traveled 2.5 hours by boat to get to Playa Hermosa (called “Beautiful Beach”…although there wasn’t actually a beach where we worked). Simon, the Ngobe man that I drill with and have trained over the years, had identified this community and made the arrangements for us to help provide water to the school kids. We drilled, with Simon and village volunteers, in a few different locations before we found a suitable source of water to serve the small school. The borehole well was rather shallow, but the recharge was sufficient for the kids to use for drinking water.

We couldn’t take any photos of the community (quite a few of the Ngobe communities I have worked with are not fond of photos. Any photos of locals that you see on my posts are taken with permission). I did take photos on the second morning of the team because we were drilling on our own for awhile until volunteers joined us.

Pat and Kat drilling the second well
Pat and Zack cleaning out the drill bit
Zack and Jess drilling the second well
Kat cleaning out the first well (water is bailed out of the borehole until all of the dirt from the installation is removed)

On our second day in Playa Hermosa, we drilled another well. This one was deeper with better recharge and would serve more of the homes, while the first well was just for the school kids. We actually drilled most of that well in the rain which was refreshing since none of us had showered since leaving our home base on Isla Bastimentos.

On our way home from Playa Hermosa, we checked wells on Isla Tigre that Simon had drilled over the past couple of months. The rest of the week was spent on smaller projects like a day trip to check wells in Shark Hole, small repairs on tanks in De Jada and Buen Esperanza, checking wells and testing water on Isla Bastimentos. We repaired holes in the water pipeline in the mangroves and a hand-pump for the home of Nelson (drilled in 2016). All-in-all, the team stuck it out in rain, shine, mud and mangroves. They were dirty more then they were clean and never once complained (even when we had to deal with maggots!). I was really sad when they left, but really grateful that they were able to help me out.

Taking water samples on Isla Bastimentos
Trying to keep from falling in the mangroves
It is actually a really slow process of stepping from root to stump to avoid sinking in the mangroves
Nelson (grey) and Simon (red) have no problems with photos! This is a well that serves Nelson’s family
Zack is heating up a machete (to cut a hole in a water tank) with the kids from Buen Esperanza
Pat, Kat, Zack and Jess
“I don’t think we should be eating dinner with a spider on the table” is not a typical comment at my house in NJ.
Lizzy likes to sleep with her paw on a human’s paw
Ethan likes catching “Leaf-eaters” even when then mistake his finger for a leaf
The plane that took my little team away 😦

5 thoughts on “In Rain or Shine 

  1. Thank you for all you endure for those in need. I confess my favorite photo this time is the one of Lizzy !

  2. ALWAYS amazed by what you do. I stand in awe of you darling Caitin.
    We all love you!!! Consider yourself hugged.

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