So yesterday we really got to get our hands dirty. And everything else for that matter. After weeks of mostly ¨classroom¨or lecture type trainings, we dug beds, made water diversion / erosion control ditches, and planted. About 30 minutes after we started, the skies opened and it poured. Agua sera, mucho agua, lots of names for it, but pretty much the same thing - we were soaked.
Typically, our trainings for Language and Technical work are held in ranchos, or palm frond covered huts with no walls. (We´ll try to get a picture for our next post.) They are quieter than the ´zinc´roofs on most of the houses, and generally work well, but we were getting tired of sitting in metal folding chairs on the mud (although mostly dry, the legs would still sink into it) and listening to how to plant, or how to perform a community assessment.
So we were excited to build beds, spread the borycachi (bocachi, with the name changed to relfect the tweaks of our Tech Trainer, Borys) we´d made, build a seedling nursery, and get blisters. Besides, the torrential rains helped us know how well we´d designed and implemented our canals guardar (erosion control / water diversion, or guard channels); otherwise, we wouldn´t have figured that out until it washed away our seeds. (Sometimes I wonder how tall Panamá must have been originally, looking at all the mud that washes down in every rain. I´m thinking Rocky Mountains high.)
So hopefully we´ll be around to see the results of our planting and building efforts; we have a couple of weeks of off-site training, so we may come back to beautiful beds of corn, rice, beans, and such just starting up. Either way, it will mostly come ripe just after we leave our training site for our real sites, a bit of a bummer; I would love a garden fresh salad.
Oh, and coming home that wet (I managed to not be red with mud, but had definate spots) for lunch, I figured I´d shower, put on dry clothes, eat, and put the wet ones back on for the rest of the day (on Saturdays, we don´t split the day half language, half technical). However, our host mother took my Tshirt to wash while we were eating. I grad another. I looked outside again, and now my socks were missing. Okay, I grabbed some others. I went outside to put my boots on, and they were getting washed. I had to explain that yes, I wanted to wear the wet boots, as I was going back to the mud. Obviously still some differences between cultures (or maybe just people?) that I haven´t fully figured out yet.
More later, hopefully after we find out our site on Wednesday!!!! We´re all excited!