Journal Entry 32

Stormy Weather

Journal Entry 32


-Quick! What’s the number for 9-1-1?!

At some point last night the power went out. And when it came back on, the electricity was so weak that it couldn’t even power the fan. Candles had to be lit even with the lights on, and it was ridiculously hot. I woke up at four and stayed awake, unable to sleep but still pretending to. The mom came in at some point and stroked my forehead. And thus began my last day in Guabito Panama.

AFS apparently reached a decision last Wednesday about moving me, but didn’t inform any of us until last night. The English teacher Mr. Nelson met with me today to discuss it all. Turns out that AFS called him last night, along with my host family, meaning that they and Mr. Nelson knew as much as I did. Meaning not a damn lot. I was sent a Skype message which informed me that “tomorrow you move to a new host family. You will take the eight o’clock express bus and I will meet you in Panama City at four the next morning” and nothing more. The AFS guy is supposed to Skype me today.

And I was just informed by the English teacher that it might not be as easy as I thought. (Because the one thought going through my head was that this was totally going to be easy. ‘Cause I’m optimistic like that. Totally.) For one thing, the eight o’clock express bus leaved Changuinola at six. Also, it’s extremely difficult to get a ticket for the bus leaving the same day. The bus could be full. Or something. And as soon as I get back to the house, I have to pack, and somehow sneak the internet thing I bought into my pack, because it’s the thing that family has tried to hold on to the most. I guess what I’ll be leaving them with is a lot of random English words, ‘Bimbo’, ‘You Whore’, confusion, and a fan.

Now, one thing I wish to clarify. It’s really easy for me to paint them as the enemy, but I don’t actually blame the family for any more than my occasional deafness (the loud music), dehydration (the lack of drinking water), and discomfort (being trapped in the same room as two other girls who have no idea what privacy is, and the mom asking me if I wore my bra to bed). They were not responsible for the power outages, they couldn’t bring water to Guabito, or keep teachers in the school. Being touchy-feely is just in the culture, and Elizabeth provides them with a tiny bit of extra income. I am grateful to this family for having me this far, and I have allowed my stress to color them responsible for things over which they had no control. (Hey, I made a mistake and am admitting to it! This is a monumental moment! Mostly ’cause I haven’t got Aaron to blame it on…but still!)

I told Lotta and Pheobe last night, and practiced texting while walking all the way to school. I didn’t run into any posts, get hit by a car, or end up late for school. Guess Karma just hates it when mom texts and walks. Or maybe it’s ’cause she was running…anyways, important lesson, don’t text and run! I was safe ’cause Karma loves me and I was walking.

And I just did my second, and for this school, last presentation. And the desks are finally being removed. I never really thought of myself as being claustrophobic, but after this stint in Guabito, I might need to reevaluate. And Mr. Nelson just informed the class that I am leaving. Now they all seem to think I’m going to Costa Rica. Dunno why…

Am I abandoning them for my own selfish reasons? Is this the right choice? I made the decision to come to a third world country, so am I just too American, too first world to deal with it? These people opened their home for to me, am I basically saying ‘screw you, you aren’t good enough’? I really don’t want to think that the answer might be yes. I’ve been asking myself these questions since I first began trying to get myself somewhere else. I’m so confused…

My classmates just trapped the door with two brooms and the garbage can. It’s designed to tip over and spill all over the shoes of the next person who walks in… Which meant the Math teacher… It was pretty funny.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to write anymore today. My last experience with Panamanian buses proved that writing and riding are sure to make me ill, or at least make my handwriting illegible. So, Goodbye Guabito. I actually will miss you.

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