Thursday, February 19, 2015

Esa es Vieja Noticia

1)  You Like Cameroon or Panama better? -- RPCV Mac recently asked me that question and with 3-4 months left in Panama, I think its a good time to reflect on my brief time in Panama.  The first thing that comes to mind is how similar Panama is to the US.  I sometimes feel like I'm doing AmeriCorps when I'm in Panama b/c, well, it IS part of America and its pretty developed in ways like the US.  Panama seems like its just 2-3 motivated counterparts away from not needing any outside help, if they're not there already.  Cameroon, meanwhile, seems like it has a long way to go with so many challenges in its way.  I can go on, but I think this topic is better discussed over a cold beer (warm if you're in Cameroon). 

2)  Todos Estan Pasando … Finalmente.  Parece. -- the megafight between Pacquiao and Mayweather is apparently finally happening:

Front page news in Panama

The topic of Pacquiao always comes up when I tell the locals that I'm Pinoy.  They may have no idea where the Philippines is, but they know who Pacquiao is:
Cross-cultural exchange: discussing the fight with community members

3)  Mountain Fiesta -- I was recently invited to a counterpart's fiesta out in the mountains:

Yup, its pretty deforested, mainly due to cattle ranching and agriculture

A cow was slaughtered and its meat dried in what is called a talanquera

Giants pots for sancocho (a type of soup) and also for yucca, aka cassava

Dancing and music
With my counterparts

Large pots, a big meal, music, hard liquor and dancing.  Reminds me of the mountain fiestas in the Philippines, minus the accordion. 

4)  In Hot Pepper News … -- the eatery nearby finally had some real hot sauce, locally-made:

And my habanero seeds in the backyard are showing signs of life despite the heat:

5)  Everything Causes Cancer -- a guy at the nearby eatery was preparing a charcoal grill and he put some plastic in the grill and burned it.  Not really sure why he did that, but it made me wonder:  if burning plastic is bad and if grilling is also bad,  then the combination must be incredibly lethal. 

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