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  • Writer's pictureLindsey St Onge

Exchange. Day 6 in Panama!!

(Slightly late post.)

Today was all about the exchange. With everything that happened today, I now really understand the importance of both taking and giving. We took a flying low modern class today and I didn't even make this connection until now, but he kept telling us to gather and send energy throughout our body. There is a difference between taking in energy and sending it out and both are equally as important. And I think the same applies to this trip. The whole idea of Movement Exchange is great because it allows us to both learn and give so much during our time in Panama. I know I have learned so much and taken so much energy and knowledge from this trip and I know we've given some happiness to these kids. I can tell by the way they smile that we are really giving them some happiness and excitement while we are here.

That being said… this morning during the flying low class (it's a technique based on moving efficiently up, down and into the ground), I learned that rolling + tile floors = lots of pain. All of our shoulders are covered in bruises! Regardless, the class was awesome. I know I struggle with moving on the ground and I definitely learned new ways to approach floor work, which was awesome. We get a little bit longer of a class in the morning with the same teacher so we'll be adding on tomorrow and learning some more techniques! 

After the flying low class, we ate some delicious fruit and headed off to our class at the University. Unfortunately, today was our last day where we will be teaching at the University. We had an awesome modern class taught by Abby from SMU, and boy was I sore from the silk class yesterday! I could barely move my hands above my head. But Abby gave a great class and I absolutely loved her movement. And so did the students :) In the last 15 minutes of the class, Allison taught a contemporary combination that was also great. The movement was really, really accented and everyone looked great doing it!!

We then got a quick lunch and I got my first empanada which was super delicious and then went to Aldeas for the second day! Unfortunately, they got out of school at 1 (only a little bit before we arrived) and many of the kids had to do homework before they could come dance. A few girls came out though and it was nice to be able to talk to them a bit before everyone else got there. My favorite exchange that I've had during the trip happened today and it surprisingly wasn't through dance. I found out that one of the girls, Paula, loves to write. She was reading and saying her poems to me and they were absolutely beautiful! I had her say them really slowly for me so I could repeat her poems and understand them. I was actually really proud of myself because I could understand them too! I had her help me with a few words but for the most part I could translate them! The rhyming was beautiful, too. The only thing is that they were really sad… A lot of them were about lost love and forgetting a love. She was a beautiful poet and she is only 10. I'm really happy she felt comfortable sharing them with me and that was by far one of my favorite moments of the trip. 

Here's one of her poems (ignore the last line-- just the stuff outlined!


And me and Paula!


After Aldeas, we were supposed to go to an all boys orphanage in Panama City, but unfortunately we weren't able to go. It was almost a blessing and a curse because it gave us some more time to explore Casco. We walked around and got coffee and pineapple empanadas, which were delicious. We then bought some souvenirs and got to watch the sunset over the water. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. We then headed back to the hostel and then went to dinner. By the time we got to dinner I was starving!! May or may not have eaten a whole pizza to myself… maybe...


I think we ended on a really good note today. Even though we didn't get to go to the other orphanage, today was really fulfilling and I think we all really enjoyed it. The kids at Aldeas were great and their dancing was awesome and I still can't believe this trip is almost over...

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