Wabash Blogs Little Giants in Panama

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Little Things Are So Important

Scott Liska '09 (written Thursday night 5/18) - Today started off quickly just like all of the other days. The wake up call to our room was 25 minutes later than most of the others, so our room was in a rush to get our stuff packed for the buses. Breakfast for me was a quick sandwich.

I was partially glad that we were not heading out into the heat of the farms to work again but there was definitely a part of me that wished we had a few more days there. The feelings that I experienced from helping was amazing. Knowing how much we had done made all of the soreness and sunburn worth while.

Today we were going to help in a different kind of way. We were headed to a local school in the community of La Pintada. On the way I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Other than television most, if not all, of the students had never seen a foreigner. I wondered how they would react and hoped that our visit would impact them in a positive way.  

On the bus we were told that we would try to explain our version of football to them. We all spread out and gave away some of the gifts that we brought. I was happy that I stopped at the store the previous night and bought plenty of candy because the children could not get enough. After we had interacted for a few minutes Bryan Engh, a Spanish major, was given the task of explaining the complex game football. A few of the kids had heard of football and along with some other volunteers we assembled a defense and offense with a mix of Wabash players and students.

Engh performed his task beautifully even with the large crowd of students. I have enough trouble trying to explain football to people who speak English. Engh was even able to set up some plays, both of which went for touchdowns. After that, Coach Creighton was challenged by a student to a game of soccer.  Needless to say we were on the field in less than five minutes. We were all terrified as we stepped onto the field even though our opponents were all, for the most part, under the age of 14. They proved our fears correct by flying around the field and making our game of soccer look like an AND 1 mix tape.

Wabash Always Fights though and in true Wabash fashion, with a diving save from Jeff Williams and a goal from Brent Banach, we were able to salvage a one to one tie. Next we stopped in town at a cigar factory and a market where they sold true Panama hats. Every day I spend here I realize all of the things I take for granted at home. Little things are so important and every penny counts. When buying hats today, a hat that was advertised for 25 dollars could be bought for a mere five.

The rest of the day was spent touring the jungle by boats. Highlights were numerous including wild monkeys mere feet from us and a Roomes vs Bell dance off but I’m sure Richard will explain it in his blog.  So far this trip has been an amazing experience and I’m sure when we get to the city it will continue that way. Everyone here sends their best wishes home.

Take care and God bless.