Thursday, March 21, 2013

training days

i don't know where to begin or end this post, or what to put in the middle. this post actually begins on monday, recalling the meeting with the government organization. most of it went over my head, but the bits that were translated painted an interesting picture. aota came out an absolute winner.

the government building is located on an evacuated american army base: military is military. an unquantifiable sense of familiarity when walking into a building on a repurposed us army base, every aspect different, yet precisely what i'd expect after my six years of service. i felt at once at home and uncomfortable.

it was a long day and we tested until late. even though i was exhausted and needed to get to sleep, i spent a few minutes on a comic script that i thought up on the flight down here. i'm a few panels in and quite happy with it.


in spite of my (ulcer? heartburn? nerves?) the training went really well. so well, in fact, that i walked out really proud of myself and aota and i began the evening's celebrations by visiting the canal. after a good dinner spent ogling the ships - which were impressively large - and once again being fascinated by the simplicity and elegance of locks - we returned the hotel to swim (it was a beautiful evening) and polish off most of a bottle of ron abuelo. we talked a lot and laughed a lot, and i left to go to bed early.

i slept a lot, and i slept like a baby.


the second day of training began with me unable to get dressed as the laundry hadn't been returned. i had a quick breakfast and returned just as the laundry guy was leaving the room; while speaking in a constant stream of spanish he signed what appeared to me to be a message that two buttons on one of my shirts were missing, and i sighed and thanked him for the heads-up. i quickly shaved and brushed my teeth, by which stage i was running late (even by panamanian standards), and i opened the closet to discover that only one of my shirts had been returned.

noooo! only one shirt, and it had buttons missing??? not many choices there, and so i put it on, surprised to discover that everything was in order. then the penny dropped and i realized that he'd been signing that two of my shirts hadn't been returned yet.


the training itself was fun and entertaining on both days, but today more so as i put the customers through their paces and did tricky things to test them. we were pretty much done by lunchtime, and the rest of the day was relaxed. i could finally spend some work time responding to urgent emails and imparting lessons learned from the training experience.

we went for lunch, and it was delicious. we had dinner when we got back, and it was delicious. the food here, for tourists at least, is really incredible. i haven't had a meal here that i haven't enjoyed, although today's were something seriously special.

tomorrow is our last day. i'm not sure what we face, but friday we leave and i will be feeling very relieved indeed. i might miss some aspects of hotel living, to be honest, but they're not as strong a pull as the crazy snow that's fallen in montreal this week or my own personal space with fallout 3.

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