Journal Entry 2

Journal Entry 2

9/8/13

Ok, traveling by bus sucks. Although, mostly the secund bus sucked. It was small, hot, and the guy sitting next to me kept sleeping on my shoulder. But anyway, I am now at my host family.

So, I now have a younger sister, Nataly, who is lying on her bed across from me. She is very nice, and surprisingly patient. My Spanish is not good at all, but she waits for me to find the word I am looking for in my dictionary. I also have two older brothers. Juan Carlo is the oldest one (I was told he is a police officer) and Juan Diego (who seems to attend College in Panama City, but might also have just been visiting. And college might just mean High School) is the older one.

The Mom and Dad are very nice and Patient as well. It’s just surprising.

I share a room with Nataly and another girl named Eizabeth(?). From what I can understand, Elizabeth is from an Indian Reserve. Apparently Panama has reserves…I haven’t met Elizabeth yet, but hope to soon.

The room is pretty dim, but seems to have pink walls with a floral wallpaper strip. My bed has a Hello Kitty blanket. There is a hole in the ceiling where small gekos dart in and out of.

Now. Something I really did not consider when I chose Panama as my exchange country, was the facilities. Let’s start with the toilet. It does not flush. You use the bucket that doubles as a shower to flush the toilet. I know that I am spoiled. And American. But this is somewhat ridiculous. As in, I don’t know that I will be able to take this. I still feel like puking from the bus ride. That was a very unpleasant experience.

Internet. When I read the AFS information about my host family, it said I would have my own room, and internet till 10pm. However, internet is a memory stick you plug into the computer, and is shared among two families. Also, it costs $30 a month. I need to find a way to buy my own “internet stick” and cellphone.

Spanish is surprisingly easy to remember. There are so many words I do not know or can’t remember, but I have been remembering a lot of them. And I can communicate in very basic Spanish to my family. I repeat, very basic Spanish… But still, at least it’s something. I’m actually having a hard time writing in English, I keep thinking random words in Spanish.

There was some sort of checkpoint on the road from Changuinola to Guabito. Dudes in camo holding rifles. It was kinda surprising. Pocket-pon will understand my paranoia here.

I managed to talk to my family on skype today, but they couldn’t hear me. I really really really really miss them. And internet. And running water. And 60 degree weather. It’s too flipping hot. I want to take a shower. A real shower, out of a faucet, not out of a bucket.

I made a deal with the others. When we all meet up again in 6 months time, we will be able to speak Spanish to each other. More importantly, we will be able to understand each other. And it will be nice.

And my pen just inked me. I have a blue hand. And my sister and the neighbor girl who watched me sleep are laughing at me… I’m going to go to bed soon. I know I am homesick, and that this is supposed to happen. But it’s one thing to expect it, and a whole other to experience it. I just need to work through this and I will be fine. I hope I will because this…It will be fun.

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