Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Panama 2019 - Day 4 (Wed.)

Today is our fourth day here in Panama and the time has been flying by! We started off today with four of us, Carlin, Peyton, Luke, and Kate, going off to learn how to surf. The rest of the group took a leisurely hike up to an organic chocolate farm called "Up on the Hill". There we indulged in homemade chocolate milk, banana cake, brownies, and fresh cacao nibs. Some of us bought homemade bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. The whole group then met up for lunch and made our way to Cristobal. It turned out that we were a little overweight in the boat, so to avoid everyone getting soaked, we took two boats. Here are our experiences on Cristobal from today:

"The first thing I did today in the community was teach the children how to make fortune tellers and paper airplanes in the arts and crafts center. The language barrier made it difficult to explain the steps, but they mostly followed my actions and caught on quickly. The kids loved throwing their airplanes and watching them coast through the air, aided by the light breeze. After we made our way outside, the kids and I took part in some gymnastics and dancing. They climbed onto my back and shoulders as we moved to the music. Then I took my turn painting the first coat of paint on the newly built playground set." - Alice Hurley

"As our boat pulled up, I recognized the faces of the children that I met yesterday. We all walked in together to the community center and began to work. At my station, with Alice, we taught them how to make oragami with paper, including the paper airplanes and the fortune tellers. After, we all went outside and engaged in our "Paper Airplane Competition", and all of my poorly made airplanes seemed to go straight into the ground in comparison to the skilled folds of the children's planes. After, I helped paint the primer on the playground equipment. Finally, as we were leaving, I played around 20 games of Tic-Tac-Toe with one of the kids, and created many different handshakes with the kids." - Ashley Van Horne

"Vivion Purser, Turner Naef, Luke Senich, and I (Kate Coward) started off painting the primer on the playground. We were out there for about an hour, talking and amusing the children hovering around us. It was a great time to bond since the four of us were not that close before this trip. When we heard that children seemed ready to learn some English, we rushed over to the community center and began our planned lesson. We started with teaching them a few songs like "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and "Old McDonald." One girl knew numbers, animals, and colors in English and impressed us all. I then hopped around the room playing with all the kids that had come up to me. I joined in on a matching game, legos, and drawing. These kids have so much happiness and joy in them. All I hear while in Cristobal is laugher, and no crying whatsoever. These are truly the brightest children I have ever seen. So far, this has been my favorite day of the whole trip and I cannot wait for what is ahead tomorrow." - Kate Coward

We concluded our day with having a discussion about the origins of the non-profit organization we are working with, Give & Surf. We read about the creator of the this NGO and discussed the morals behind what we have been doing for the past two days and its effects on the community. We all discussed our questions over an amazing dinner at the Hotel Caribbean View. We are excited for tomorrow with our bike ride into the town of Bocas Del Toro and to go back to Isla Cristobal to see our new friends. We'll be back with another update tomorrow!

Peace and love,
Ashley, Alice, and Kate :O)




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