Archive for June, 2014

Today marks the 30th Wedding Anniversary of my lovely parents so in honor of that, this post is about some of the important lessons they taught me and how they have helped me in Panama.


  1. Three Phases of Healing

For those of you that don’t know, my dad is a podiatrist, or a foot/ankle doctor. Before I could spell my own name he taught me to memorize the 3 phases of healing. Vasoconstriction, Inflammatory Stage, Remodeling Stage. And so in English, that means – 1. Stop the bleeding. 2. Send in relief/support 3. Remodel and rebuild. I will never forget that first lesson.


For all of those bug bites that got infected (and there were many), the time that the sting ray got my ankle, and all of the other physical injuries my body suffered, I always reminded myself that my body was equipped with ways of healing the wounds. Though antibiotics were nice occasionally.  But more than just physical healing, I think of this process often when problems arise, as they inevitably do.


  1. Patience is a Virtue

This is a lesson my mom always tried to teach me when I would whine or complain. Although, she is one of the most patient people I know, she always said she wished she had more patience and tried to teach that to us.


Patience is a lesson I’m still learning in Panama and will always be learning for the rest of my life. Waiting for buses that come 3 hours late, or not at all (if its raining). Waiting for Panamanian Government Officials to come to meetings – when they show up 7 hours late. Or waiting for the water committee paperwork to be approved in the Ministry of Health, which took 9 months and I’m still waiting the paperwork I turned in to get a bank account. I am learning patience with people when they decide that “lines” at the cash register don’t apply to them. I’m learning patience with people that want to try to speak English with me but can’t say anything more than “how are you?”“Fine, thank you” and “I love you baby.” I’m learning patience with trying to figure out what comes next in my life. Patience is a virtue. For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.


  1. The One-Half Rule

I have been organizing sporting events since about the age of 8. I was one of the older kids in the ‘hood and somehow it always fell to my brother and I to get the neighborhood together. Growing up in the 90s/00s kids had a lot to compete against… the life-sucking energy of television and mind-numbing effects of video games were constant competition. But somehow we’d always manage to drag kids out of the house to play capture the flag, or basketball, or street hockey or whatever.


Anyway, I digress, the One-Half Rule. Dad always said that however many kids say they’re gonna come, assume that half of them will actually come.


That is the rule of life in this country. The number of people that told me they would come to my meeting, half of them show up. The number of kids that say they’re coming to Frisbee practice, half of them show up. The number of Peace Corps Volunteers that say they’ll attend a training… half of them show up. -.-  Well, at least I had been preparing for this for the past 17 years.


These are just three short important lessons that I’ve been learning for 25 years and I am sure I will continue to find new meanings in these basic teachings as I get older. I’m just lucky that I have such incredible parents to have started teaching me these valuable lessons :) Here’s to the next 30 years!


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