This afternoon I was sitting in the rocking chair on the veranda when it occurred to me that it has been a week since I wrote anything for my blog. Sometimes I am not sure what to write about; sometimes I just don’t feel like writing. It is a typical Sunday afternoon in the barrio; somewhat quiet with tipico music playing in the background from somewhere nearby. There is a nice breeze and the birds are really chirping up a storm. So I guess I’ll just write about this past week.
Speaking of a storm, as I sat here, I watched the sunny blue sky turn to dark clouds covering the sky, and then back to blue skies in a matter of no more than 2 minutes. You never know what the weather will be like here, especially since the wet season has begun. Friday, we went to Chitre for a town hall meeting with the U.S. Ambassador. The sun was out and it was a pretty warm day. That evening though we had been invited to a Farewell party at Smiley’s for some friends of ours moving back to Canada. Just as we walked out the door, thunder, lightening, and a deluge of rain poured out of the sky. I was soaked just walking from the car to the restaurant patio, even with an umbrella. But even though it rains, it is still warm enough for shorts, tank tops, and sleeveless dresses. The rain does bring out the bugs though.
After returning from our week-long trip the week before, Mikkel and I have settled back into the routine of day-to-day living in our little bit of paradise. Basically, the routine means getting up whenever we want, having coffee and breakfast on the front veranda, reading emails or books, doing whatever we feel like, taking the dog for a walk, housekeeping, eating dinner on the back patio, watching a little Netflix, and going to bed when we get sleepy. Did I mention doing whatever we feel like? Anyway, in the mornings when I get up, I usually go out and water the potted plants along with collecting mangos that have either fallen or ripe from the tree (about 2 dozen or so each day), while Mikkel fixes coffee. Lately I haven’t had to water the garden as much because it has rained enough to make it pretty muddy when I am out there picking mangos. Some time that day I cut up the mangos and freeze them, or I give them to friends.
This past week I returned to Spanish class on Monday afternoons while Mikkel went into Chitre with our friend Tim to do some grocery shopping. On Wednesday our new friend Doc from Playa Rompio and friends Lee and India from Santo Domingo met at our home for lunch and to plan a home Bible study here. Many of you may know Mikkel and I are Christians, “Followers of Christ”, although not perfect, but hopefully not judgmental of anyone else. Back in California I attended and co-facilitated a women’s Bible Study. I have been missing the fellowship and learning that comes from reading a portion of the Bible together, and was happy that Doc, a pastor, has moved to the Azuero and wants to help us start one here. During our meeting I learned something I was not aware of before about the Bible. So if any of my local readers are interested in reading the Bible together and seeing what it has to say, let me know. It’s open to all, not affiliated with any particular church or denomination; just studying the Bible and fellowship with others, expats and Panamanians alike.
Friday, as I mentioned before, we went to Chitre to meet with the US Ambassador to Panama. There were about 40-50 in attendance, some from Pedasi, and much more than were expected. The Ambassador seems very approachable. He did his best to accommodate those questions about Panamanian policies as well as certain ones about the US. Afterwards, many of us had lunch in the dining room at the hotel where the meeting took place. The new president of Spay Panama Azuero joined us, so it gave me an opportunity to connect and talk to her about Animal Advocates of Pedasí, a group with which I am involved.
Later at the Farewell party, I talked with some friends about hopefully affiliating with her group. More about that later. I also have been asked to possibly help teach English to the school children at the school in Los Destiladeros. So it looks like my days’ routines might be getting a little bit busier. And Mikkel has several projects he plans to be working on, when he wants to. Our Third Life goes on as we become more and more part of the pueblo – Pedasians.