Friday, September 28, 2012
Clearly a lot can change in two years, and for sure it did.
So here is the deal, pretty much forget everything I have ever said previously and let us start over.
Today, I am turning a new leaf and starting new with my blog, though I have not really figured out how to work the entire thing yet... but when I do hopefully it will be pretty Jazzy!
Why am I doing this, what am I hoping to get out of this, etc?
For the past five years I have had the great fortune to travel around the world and see everything, and of corse I forgot to write everything down, with the exception of my Indian adventures... I feel like I have missed out that I did not continue to detail my chronicles. I sit somewhere I did not expect to be for a continuos amount of unplanned time I want to take this opportunity to write everything down that I can remember, the good and the bad, and share them with my future loyal readers.
I have the next six months to detail everything that I can remember about the past four or five years to update everyone about the misadventures of often the only blonde person in the entire country, or maybe even region. At the end of it all, I will be off on a new adventure. Though cheesy, I will be off following my dreams, making a difference, and serving my country all at the same time in Albania (of all places).
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Why: They have Urban Planning Volunteers
Why Not: They don't leave in August.
Entonces, after realizing that my Spanish will really not get my anywhere in Africa?
I still have...
“Volunteers who go to South America come back to the States politically active, volunteers who go to Southeast Asia return spiritually aware and curious, and volunteers who go to Africa?-They come back laughing.”
Sunday, June 13, 2010
El Diablo Rojo:
The Way to see the City in Style
Panama is famous for a few things such as the Panama Canal, the Bridge of the Americas, the large towering skyscrapers of Panama City and the colorfully creative public transportation. Titled creatively to install a tad bit of fear in the eyes of weary travelers and even locals El Diablo Rojo, is really the real way to see the metropolitan area of Panama City in style.
It’s impossible to walk out the door in Panama and not see one of these crazy monstrosities making enough noise to make your ears bleed. The loud and whimsical honks, followed by the even louder paintings on the sides of the busses, and then finally loudest driver’s assistants who shout the direction of the bus at you. Cinco de Mayo! Via Espana! Transismica! TERMINAL! They head in every which direction with no true set route around the city of Panama.
Not owning a car, having a broken bike, and not being able to pay for taxis on a daily basis, the bus is really my only option around the city of Panama. They are confusing and don’t run on any real time table. I can wait anywhere from thirty seconds to fifty minutes before a bus rolls in front of the closest stop to my house, at any point in time of the day. From my house to the Terminal there are four different routes even if you get on the same bus, the inefficiency of the fact that you never know which route you could end up on is evident.
For my first few months in Panama I never really chose to branch out of the COOP SACA bus line, which runs from my house to the terminal and back. But due to some adventurous ideas and a class assignment, I decided to learn how to take the bus to my favorite place, Multiplaza Mall. My group and I started out leaving from the Terminal and taking the Via Espana bus towards the city. Knowing where Via Espana was, we thought it was a good idea to take a bus in a direction that we knew relatively where we were going and if we got into any trouble we could exit the bus and know where we were.
Upon getting on the bus they ask only some for the twenty-five cent payment. Not to mention it is not posted anywhere that it is even twenty-five cents to ride the bus it’s just like an unwritten rule that everyone seems to know. The bus was empty when we hopped on at the terminal, and even empty as we left. The first stop being Plaza Cinco De Mayo, which is known as the other transportation center in the city was a very efficient ride pretty much a straight shot from the terminal to the Plaza.
Here plenty of people arrived on the bus decorated with stickers of names all around and even some of the old relics of the American school bus that it once was. Pom-Poms were on the driver’s steering wheels and the window was sounded by multiple feather boas. Not to mention the Sticker of General Noriega that hung in the window of the crazy bus. Music blasted from peoples cell phones a real mix of traditional Panamanian and American rap, made the ride all more interesting.
The bus then made its way towards Via Espana, the major reason for the inefficiency of the ride was accounted for in the inefficiency of the roads in Panama. Many roads are only one direction and really make no sense geographically, which made for a super windy ride that really left me lost. In the end we ended up at Calle 50, at the wonderfully famous city establishment Casa Del Helado, which happens to be one of my favorite places in the city! And only two blocks away from Multiplaza.
People just hop on and hop off, screaming PARADA! There are no real official stops or entrances once you get to the inner city. What always startle me when riding the bus is the people selling things. The bus seller of this particular ride was a man selling books to teach English. Saying that English was the future of the world and that people were going to need to know English to get ahead in life. Not to mention this triggered a wave of people around us asking us if we spoke English, wishing to practice their English with a series of awkward questions.
Overall the experience of riding Panama’s infamous transportation is always an adventure. You never really know what you will see, what you will overhear, and what you will be asked. Though one thing is certain you will be treated like family, riders in Panama are truly some of the friendliest public transportation goers and really strengthen my true adoration to a country I now can consider my second home.