I know that there are some folks out there that have been batting around the idea of visiting us over the next year and a half...so this post is for you all.
Kevin and I would welcome anyone who wants to visit. I think Panama is a fabulous place. It is beautiful, uses USA currency (no money exchange fees) and you can travel in posh luxury or as cheaply as you would like. Panama is also fairly safe for visitors and offers the security of good hospitals (it is where volunteers from other Central American countries are often sent when they need advanced care).
Visiting a PCV has real advantages over visiting a country on your own...you get an opportunity to get off the normal tourist path and see how the people really live. We PCVs also know about how to travel, the cheep decent hotels, the sites, local culture, and language (I don't offer perfect Spanish...but it is functional). We are excited about our host country and ready to share that excitement with you.
Yes, unfortunately we do have to work while we are in Peace Corps...so we are not intending this to be a "we can drop everything and guide you" invitation. Rather, you are invited to visit and share a moment in our work and life here. We would look to plan work during your visit that you might enjoy seeing or participating in. Depending on when, for how long, and where you wish to go, we can probably take some vacation time to travel with you to visit other parts of Panama.
Here is what we would ask of you:
- Visitors are welcome between May 15th, 2008 - April 30th, 2009. We set these dates based on giving our selves time to settle in and time to get ready to leave at the end of service.
- Let us know at least 4 weeks in advance of when you want to come....8 weeks is better. Start talking to us about it as soon as you are fairly sure that you intend to try to make the trip.
- Let us know what you are hoping to do while here.
- Please be flexible, when possible, with your dates, we can't handle a string of three visitors back to back. We must have time to work too.
- Don´t let the words "rainy season" scare you. 8 months of the year are rainy season. Yes, it rains. But it tends to be rainy only for part of the day and sunny for part of the day. Rain is part of Panama...you didn´t really experience Panama if you didn´t hear an agua cero on a zinc roof.
Hoping to see you soon.
April and Kevin