Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nuevo Bicho

Randy aka Tiburon

I got a doggie! My community guide and her son left town for Las Tablas weeks ago so they left him to die. He was sick so she probably thought he'd be worm feed by now. (Well... he still is technically, the de-wormer I gave him is still working). Anyway, I was passing by where she used to live and he comes running out to me crying and jumping on me. He remembers me from living at the house and pasearing there, I'm sure. He looks like a total wreck, has snot dripping down his eyes and looks like a twig so even though I wasn't planning on having an extra mouth to feed, I took pity on him. My buddy Mario helped me wash him with some anti-flea soap and picked the DOZENS AND DOZENS of ticks off him. I have never been so greatful for help in my life. I really don't like killing ticks. It's tedious and gross. Afterwards, I cooked the pup some rice. What else could I do? Now, a couple days and a few bowls of Pedigree (that's the generic name for dog food here... I think that's cute) later, he's too spoiled to eat rice anymore. What kind of Panamanian dog turns down rice? Thinks he's an aristocrat apparently...

I'm not going to lie, he's pretty much the ugliest dog I've ever seen. His mouth can't close all the way because he has and extreme overbite, he's scarred from fights and insects, and he's eyes drip goo. I don't pet him much now because I'm waiting for the parasites to clear out but he still wags his tail nonstop at me. He is already such a different animal then when I found him. I don't now much about dog psychology but I think he just needed to feel part of a pack again. And I'm sure having food in his belly for the first time in weeks didn't hurt either.

Because of how Panamanians raise up dogs he's already really well behaved. The only thing is he jumps up on people to greet them. I'm working on that. I used to be upset when Panamanians beat their dogs but now that I've seen how effective it is, I am kind of a fan. I feel weird about saying this but I have to admit, it works. I don't think I'll ever get a dog in the states but if I do, it might have to get smacked once or twice.

Other than this, there isn't too much going on. The new ANAM guy seems a little more aproachable than the old one so hopefully we'll find some work to do. I've been interviewing the teachers for In Service Training this weekend and I'm getting a lot of great information. I have to hand it to Peace Corps, just when it starts to seem like they ask us to do ridiculous assaigments that don't seem to make sense, all of a sudden the master plan becomes clear when you finish. I'm really looking forward to heading to Panama this weekend and coming back to site ready to work!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back to the drawing board

So after much deliberation I decided to cancel my English Club after the 2nd class of absolutely no one showing up, the forth of three people or less showing. It wasn't even raining! I felt a little insulted because this was the class after our big movie night, where I showed Watchmen and gave everybody popcorn and soda and we all had a good time. We were supposed to talk about the movie and what it can tell us about American culture but no one showed. I'm trying to learn from my mistakes but I can't think for the life of me what kept people from the class besides shear laziness. They aprovechar of the fun stuff we do but they don't want to do the work and think about anything. I think this is illustrated perfectly by the fact that people don't say "Estoy preocupado" which is the dictionary Spanish way to say "I'm worried". Instead they say "Estoy pensado" here, which is dictionary for "I am thinking". Thinking is bad. Thinking is worrying. So let's just eat all the damn popcorn and never do our assignments.

So instead, and I want to run this by El Jefe first so the kids will have to wait until the end of the month, I want to start a turtoring program. I want to go house to house at assigned times. I'm hoping this will reduce abscences and distractions. Truth be told, at the movie night it became apparent to me that the kids use my class to meet up with their little girlfriends safe far from parental or bochinchoso eyes. This explains why they were always leaving the room randomly without permission. They wanted to flirt in privacy.

I think going house to house will be a great step in the right direction, it will get me pasearing more, it will allow me to vary the classes according to English skills. The club had nine through seventeen year olds which was problematic in this regard.

The other news is that someone stole the propane tank and a garden tool from the school. Who does that? Jeez. The police are actually involved now which is a big deal considering that the nearest station is 30 to 45 minutes away. I hope they find the dude that did it but I highly doubt anything will come of the investigation.

What else... I've started mingling more with the extranjeros. Met a Spaniard and his French wife. Met an American/Canadian who is really interested in helping the community. We'll see what happens. I'm tired of taking baby steps but look at what happened when I just jumped into teaching English. It was a waste of two months of my time and now I'm back where I started. I know I sound like I'm ranting but I'm actually in a good mood. I'm just poking a little fun at myself really. I spent all day at the beach with my best buddies in town and then I introduced them to the glory that is Goodfellas. So I have no complaints. I'm even proud of being so quick to dust myself off and plan out this tutoring thing, which I'm sure will have it's own challenges. Also, there is a new ANAM guy I need to introduce myself to so I hope he will be able to help with the vivero thing. I'm not going to let myself get choked out. I am human too and want some dignity. I think you can agree with that, right?