Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Start of Rainy Season, Tuk Tuks, and La Palapa

I woke up yesterday to a beautiful, sunny Pana day and went to OB around 10 to meet Andrea. Darcy and I spent the morning looking over OB’s brand new website ( - launched today! – and giving Andrea some feedback and suggestions on how to improve it. Then we went over a more detailed orientation with Andrea and talked specifically about our Work Plan. The plan is definitely ambitious – and it’s possible we might not get through everything that we hope – but we will be spending the next week or so doing the research and planning necessary to accomplish as much as possible. A large part of our Work Plan involves working directly with the cooperatives of women that OB and Nest partner with, so starting in a week or so we will be traveling along with OB’s facilitators to these communities to conduct interviews, take pictures, and do the research we need to put together the production guide, look book, and other projects we’ve been assigned.

 After some shopping, buying some basic necessities at PanaSuper, one of two international supermarkets in town, and some toiletries at a local farmacia, Darcy and I joined Andrea and some of her friends for dinner and then to La Palapa, a local bar/gringo hangout. The ex-pat community is really a lot of fun here, and because Pana's such a small town everyone seems to know everyone else. 
Smokin' Joes BBQ
La Palapa
This morning, Darcy and I met Andrea and her husband Eddie for the “Smokin’ Joes” barbeque, a Saturday tradition at La Palapa with delicious, huge portions for just around 60 quetzales ($8). We were planning on going for an afternoon hike in the Onion Fields further up in the highlands, but our plans were halted by the torrential downpour that started right after lunch. Unfortunately, it seems like the rainy season started pretty much exactly when we arrived in Pana, so looks like we have a lot more rain to look forward to over the next few months. While we were waiting for the rain to slow, Andrea and Eddie introduced us to a friend of theirs who works at PanaKids, another bilingual school in the area. She had also spent time in Berkeley (it’s crazy how many people with connections to Berkeley I’ve already met since arriving!) and it was interesting to compare my own experiences volunteering at Manzanita SEED, a bilingual elementary school in Oakland, with her experiences working in bilingual education here in Guatemala.

Rainy season in Pana
After an hour or so, the rain was still as torrential as ever, so Darcy and I hopped into a Tuk Tuk (a motorized three-wheeled cart, Pana’s version of a cab) for the short ride back to our house. The ride cost only 5 q for each of us (less than a dollar!), and apparently costs the same no matter where you are going in Pana! Assuming the rain subsists a little, Darcy and I are planning on heading back to La Palapa once again to meet some of the Peace Corps Volunteers who are here for a gathering tonight, and we’re excited to check out the big Sunday market tomorrow to stock our kitchen for our first week of work!

A Tuk Tuk
Darcy and I on our first Tuk Tuk ride

Our friendly Tuk Tuk driver

No comments:

Post a Comment