Training in a Gnobe village in Bocas del Toro
After spending the night at Lost and Found, we took the bus to another volunteer’s site in Bocas del Toro early the next morning. K. lives in a Ngobe village of perhaps 500 people. She arranged some training for the members of the water and health committees. She lives in a comparatively large house on a slippery slope. There is running water and she even has a flush toilet, one of few in the community, but her only electricity is what a single solar cell can produce and store in a car battery. Many come to her house to get their cell phones and small batteries charged.
Another volunteer came later that day, her name is also K. We prepared for the next day while children watched from the other side of the fence that enclosed the lower level porch. One of them came right up to the fence and sneezed directly in my face as I was resting in the hammock.
K noted that when you live with Gnobes you often feel like you are living in a fish bowl. She also has to lock her doors securely as people will take what they want. They come from a comunal tradition where everything is shared. But K. does not want to and can not just ‘share’ everything she owns.
Since it was early to bed after rice and beans it was early to rise but at least it was not rice and beans, though I have forgotten what. Around 8 we walked or slid down the hill to the nearby school where we were having the training. We were to start at 9 but true to form the people did not arrive until close to 10.
The training we gave them was in Project Management and Leadership, PML. This is a basic training course in values, setting goals, managing money and time the first morning, which is the part Peg and I did. This was my second effort at this presentation and I think it was a bit better.