There is a local newspaper called El Pedasieño, which is distributed monthly to many businesses from Pedasí to Chitré and beyond, and is free for the taking. The paper is filled with ads from local businesses, but it also includes announcements of local events and news, feature stories about community groups and activities, business owners, health and safety articles, as well as a classified section, both in Spanish and English. It’s no a very big newspaper compared to those sold in the U.S., although El Pedasieño could be as big, if not bigger than the Auburn Journal in California where I lived. But that one comes out 6 days a week. Recently we met the publishers, Alberto and Rosa, a very friendly and hospitable couple who work out of their home here in Pedasí.
Anyway, when we were helping others clean up Playa Arenal a few weeks ago, Alberto and Rosa joined us and took pictures of the event. We also talked to Alberto about placing an ad in the next month’s paper for Animal Advocates of Pedasí, a group that I have now help facilitate for the sterilization of dogs and cats along with educating the public in pet care. He invited us to his home and we were able to come up with a very attractive informational ad about the next Spay/Neuter clinic in Chitré at the end of the month for the June issue, thanks to their graphics designer. They also gave us a 35% discount on the ad.
So when I discovered the newspaper was out at our local pharmacy a few days ago, I, of course, looked for our ad first. To my surprise, a picture of Mikkel and I with the beach cleanup group was also in the same issue. Not that we desire being in the news (we aren’t named), but it is nice to be part of the community and to help make a little difference. Mikkel and I have been so blessed, and we just want to pay it forward when we see the opportunity.
I don’t ever want to forget all that God has given us, not just in material things, but also in His beautiful creation. Sometimes many of us expats, including myself, start complaining about life in Panama – the weather, the power outages, the lack of certain products to buy, the slow internet, the bugs, the language, etc. Life isn’t always simple and easy, even here. But if you think about what we do have – less stress (tranquilo), a healthier life, a home (probably much better than many Pedasian citizens), the beauty of nature (beaches, oceans, rolling hills, trees, flowers, etc.), fresh fruits and vegetables, friendly people always greeting you when you walk by, a safe environment where children can play in the streets even at night – I can go on and on, then our attitudes change from complaining to thanksgiving. I choose to enjoy tranquilo and be content instead of griping and finding fault. It is what makes it worth living here and why we want to be part of our lovely community of Pedasí.