After a week at the San Cristobol community center we feel mixed emotions. On the one hand, we have loved getting to know the kids. On the other hand, we are dreading having to leave as we know we almost certainly never see our new friends again. To make matters worse, the youngest kids don’t understand when we are leaving or for how long. Through games of “Guerra” (the card game, war), dominoes, and beisbol (baseball) we have formed invaluable connections and made lots of memories. We also have had the opportunity to talk with the teacher at the center, which has taught us how to ask useful questions about the wants and needs of the community. Learning from and asking questions about the locals has been crucial to this trip so far and is a long lasting skill we will all take away from this trip. We are excited to see what the rest of our time in Panama has in store for us and to continue to learn and grow together!
– Natalia & friends (a reflection from the Cristobol group written up by Natalia)
Today we focused on lesson planning and organization for the second week in the community centers. This morning we met with Julia, a teacher with Give and Surf and a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship. She told us about her experiences teaching English as a second language to people and how it led her to become an English teacher for Give and Surf. The Fulbright Scholarship is offered by the United States Department of State and allows for research and studies worldwide. We learned a lot about her process of application ad how she uses her skills to teach English in the centers. Learning a second language really opens up a lot of opportunities and is a great way to connect with more people. In the afternoon, we volunteered more at the Basti and San Cristobol centers, then had dinner and prepared for tomorrow! Overall, great day in Panama!