March has been quite the eventful month. Since the 2nd day of March my level of stress and responsibility has gone up, and I am just starting to be able to look back on the last few weeks and feel rewarded for my efforts and time.
March was the month to paint the mural in San Miguel. So, to begin I had to buy materials, prepare the site and create the plan to organize people and paint. I had to do the hardest part of my project – start. With that out of the way, the mural went great, it was every part of invigorating, and the mural currently is fulfilling its purpose in the space and in the community, pictures soon to follow. English classes were also in full swing, I helped where I could and also shared teaching responsibilities with Tiffany for our Kindergarden students. I have to say it is a challenge to teach students a second language when they cannot write their names in their first language. I am not positive that the students at that age understand that other languages even exist. We will say, “How do you say rojo in English?” and the kids answer, “Rojo in English…” Also, glue and kindergartens is a bad idea. They don’t understand how to open or close the top, so once you twist the top open be mindful that they will want to create a waterfall of glue, or paint with the glue, or make a pool of glue instead of put a moderate amount on one piece of paper to adhere it to another piece of paper, just FYI.
March was the month of visitors from faraway lands, in total fourteen friends, family, professors and sweethearts have come to visit the Kalu Yala team. Some visitors arrived earlier than expected, some had to postpone their dates, and some came by surprise. No matter the schedule, being a hostess to my friends and family in a country I cannot call my own, but am honored to be in was truly rewarding. It seems to me that being a hostess is innately feminine; to show loved ones a place to lay down, a good drink, and a filling plate of food over laughs and touching conversations.
Kalu Yala also had a special Valley Pig Roast hosted at Base Camp on March 10th. After much preparation, there were 3 chefs, 2 pigs, a cow’s hind quarter, 101 potatoes, materials to make a bar, and a beautiful Base Camp. A lovely group of interns, directors, investors, and other Kalu Yala believers arrived, it would be more accurate to say a lovely culture arrived. We all seemed to exist together through commonalities and pleasures. A day full of great conversations, finger licking food, drinks, volleyball games, river swimming, and music. It is events like the pig roast where you realize how small the world is and at the same time just how big it is.
March also had madness in terms of weather. One night in San Miguel it became very windy and rainy, I woke up twice with the door of my bedroom flung open by the wind. When we awoke the next morning the power was out, a tree had fallen over in the night. Not even two days later I woke up walked into the kitchen and Erin asked me, “Did you feel the earthquake last night?” I had experienced my first earthquake but did not know I had, because I had sleeped right through it. Subtle but apparent the weather here is changing, the days end closer to 7:00pm instead of 6:30pm and it seems lighter earlier in the morning than when we first arrived. Some days it just drizzles, so light it barely seems to hit the ground, kind of like how snow doesn’t reach the ground in Central Texas. I guess the seasons are changing and soon it will be rainy season in Panama, this group of interns will have left, and a new group will have arrived.
Gabriel García Márquez, says: “No llores porque ya se terminó… sonríe, porque sucedió.” In English, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”