Thursday after work, my friend Juan Carlos (our tour guide last year for my Fisher class trip with the most amazing group ever) picked me up and we went to get a couple drinks and grab some food before his evening classes at the university. He took me to a more local hang out close to the canal and right next to the Panama Canal Railway, the alternative and more expensive mode of transport to the canal. It was a neat little bar and restaurant with a nice patio right out next to the tracks. Despite the location, it was not loud since the trains were near the end of the line there and moving slowly. JC and I caught up on everything; work, friends, the Fisher groups, travel, plans, love life... everything! We also enjoyed a few Panama beers as the sun went down. We talked about going on a couple excursions of which fishing and seeing his hometown I am most excited about. I have to start thinking that I don´t have that long here! Yikes! Anyway, he dropped me off on his way to class and I cannot wait to hang out again!
After getting dropped off that evening, I ran upstairs to change and meet a everyone down on the, Cinta Costera right by the water, for a run. I forgot that our new roommate was supposed to arrive and I ran into her as I was on my way to change. We talked super briefly, which I feel kinda bad about for being rude and rushed, but promised to catch up later. I ran all the way down to the Cinta and ended up crossing paths with Carlos. I love running down there because it is such a well maintained area and perfect for evening and night exercise. When the rest of our group arrived, we were 6 in all, not bad for motivation. While we did get a good workout in, we spent a lot of time chatting... or gossiping... about our experience so far, the good and the bad. I am super thankful that I have other interns close by and as good friends that we can share our experience. As much as I do not like complaining, I think everything we talk about is good to bring up, as long as problems get communicated to the hosting entity. It also helps us be more accepting of the little things. What I hope we all get out of our little vent fests is the opportunity to look at ourselves and try to be more accepting and flexible before blwoing things out of proportion. I think that is a huge part of the AIESEC learning experience when going abroad; considering what is wrong, identifying who can best handle it, and taking the appropriate action, whether than be chaning yourself or soliciting help from someone else. Anyway, Thursday ended with Carlos and I hanging out a big with Michaela then crashing for Friday.
Friday was the "big day" of my presentation of the material I have be going over a revising from Heineken to launch the new Performance Management System. I spent the day going over the slides, fixing my slide guide, and wrapping up the PM guide as a handout. I have to say in retrospect, that despite my serious efforts, they were not the best. They were the best they could have been at that point in time, though and now I have better ideas on how to make the presentation of the material more accessable and easier to understand. I am thankful that this first presentation was to the HR department so we can work through the material together and make it as accessable as possible for the first launch. I am now much happier with my output after their feedback and my latest revisions. I think its close to ready :)
Friday I stayed after work a bit to chat with my mom, who arrives Tuesday for a short visit. After, I went straight to Johana´s to skype with Mike then leave for the UTP AIESEC meeting and the last meeting of the current EB. I don´t know if I didn´t make it clear enough that I wanted to leave at 6 to make the meeting at 6:30 but when I was ready to leave Johana got in the shower. Then got ready. Then I had to say at 6:20.. look, I´m leaving now.. like walking out the door, if you´re coming with me, its going to be now. and I had to hurry her along to which she said you know no one gets there on time anyway. Two things went through my head, one that was solid american culture, and the other was a question I had, which was later confirmed. The first: they and you might not get there on time but I do. Second: this is an AIESEC meeting, not going out for drinks at the bar, you get there on time. Either way it was a long way from her apartment and we arrived about 45 minutes late after taking the bus, walking, then getting picked up and driven to the house. Lauren= frustered... deep breath... ok we´re here.
|everyone at the LC meeting!|
|Presenting ideas for social problems|
|Camino de la Muerte.. have to try it once right? Nothing more exhilirating than a 500m drop|
|yah, thats a highway. I hear some people do it on bike... silly tourists... that would totally be me!|
|Happy 3rd birthday UTP, congrats on becoming full members!|
|Most of the Group!|
|Bruno and Luis, Brazil and Peru|
Sunday I woke up and again had no motivation to do anything. Good thing I didnt have to make any plans because when I woke up Carlos told me our Guatemalans were coming to meet us to go to Luis (peru) and Bruno´s (brazil) pool on the East Coast. Within about 20 minutes I was up, ready and in a taxi over to their pool. Let me tell you, our apartment and pool has nothing compared to theirs. They are interning with Procter and Gamble, which is over by where they live and little far from the heart of the city, but it is all new money over there and just gorgeous. I´m not complaining, our place is awesome and in a great, easy to reach area, but DAMN. Pool overlook the bay, gym, gorgeous furnished apartment for 3. They have it good. We were a large group hanging out at the pool and spent a good amount of time playing with my underwater camera. I´m including the proof of that. We discussed plans to go to the Caribbean soon so we can play in the clear water over there. Hopefully by next weekend I´ll have pictures of that.
|stolen camera but beautiful picture!|
I think my favorite parts of the weekend were the times when I was dancing, laughing, or just sitting with such a diverse group and hearing about their experiences and learning. Over the last few days I have spent time with people from Panama (obvi), Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico (hope i didn´t forget any!). That made my weekend totally AIESEC and puts a huge smile on my face. Pretty much the perfect weekend to decompress a bit and get ready for a hectic week. Work is going very well and I´m diving into the meat of my Recruiment and Selection Project now. Plus over the next couple weekend I plan on traveling and seeing more. My mom arrives tomorrow and will be here until Friday! Whoopieee
|Me with my Rommie!|
|"Miss" Guatemala as we call her|
|Pool on the east coast!|