It’s been awhile since I have written anything for this blog. Sometimes, being this is my home now, I just go on living and enjoying life day to day, forgetting I should share this with my friends and family; and sometimes I am not sure what I want to write about that I haven’t already written or has been written very well by other bloggers who I have been following. Also, last weekend I was sick with a cough, high fever, and sinus headache. I certainly did not feel like doing much of anything but laying in bed with a cold compress on my forehead. And then our internet has been giving us sporadic problems. But now I feel better, and hopefully the internet problems have been resolved. So here I am writing my thoughts down as they come.
This past week while teaching English to the school children, I also helped set up their internet to wireless. The school recently acquire 3 desktop computers & 2 printers and installed internet so the children could start using them for their lessons. The goal is to acquire some laptops as well. Mikkel and I decided to donate an Apple Airport Express router we had brought from the states but don’t need or use, so the school could have wireless and I can also use my iPad for lesson materials. So being the “IT” person of my home, or at least Mikkel has named me that, I brought the router and after several attempts, was able to get wireless service at the school. This router is very strong and a young teenage boy. Alfonso, in the pueblo who goes to the school in Pedasi, can now use his laptop that was provided by the Ministerio de Educación at home as well. He is very smart and wants to be a doctor. Hopefully this will help him and others in this very poor town to get ahead and pursue their education.
Mikkel and 3 of his friends spent Tuesday night in our home. Early the next morning, they got up and met a boat captain at the dock in El Ciruelo where they proceeded to go fishing out in the ocean in a ponga (small open motor boat). They caught 5 tuna and 1 barracuda. The barracuda was given to the captain. But the highlight of their day was watching a pod of whales jumping full and half breaches out of the ocean along with a school of dolphins swimming by. This is the time of year when the whales are migrating south from Alaska past the Azuero peninsula to breed. Unfortunately, not knowing where they would come up out of the water as the men were trolling on the boat, they were unable to get any pictures good of the whales. I certainly wish I was with them, although I am not much into fishing. But now we have some good fresh tuna for several dinners. Our neighbor, Niato, who cleans, skins, and fillets fish for a living, was happy to accommodate Mikkel and his friends, insisting on no charge, although Mikkel slipped him $5 anyway.
Appropriately, Tuesday and Wednesday was a local Pedasí holiday, El Día De La Virgen Del Carmen, patron saint of the fishermen. There were parades with floats and a band marching through the pueblo and down to Playa Arenal for the blessing of the fishermen at the beach; and of course fireworks.
Yesterday, after several days of little or no rain in the wet season, we were hit by a storm accompanied by heavy winds. Luckily our garden faired through it with only a few tree branches snapping and coconuts falling, but there were several trees down throughout the area. The winds were so strong that our covered veranda floor was soaked by the rain blowing in. Even the next morning there were several large puddles of water I had to mop up, along with lots of mud from dog and cat footprints coming out from the downpour. By late that afternoon, the rain had stopped, but we certainly thanked God for the much needed rain.
In spite of the storm, we drove to our friends’ home in Playa Sabana Albino to look at some Moringa trees (more info on this in another future blog). As we headed home, we observed several groups of people walking on the highway toward Las Tablas, as late as 6:30pm and as far as Pedasí, 32 kilometers away. Also occasionally there were awnings being set up along the highway. Come to find out that last night the annual Santa Librada celebration began and folks begin to walk to the Catholic church in downtown Las Tablas. They walk for miles as a form of sacrifice in honor of the patron saint. Some walk all night long and many were walking early this morning as well. The awnings are set up as relief stations to give or sell water and food to the local pilgrims on their way to the church.
So this was my week full of more new experiences, some shared to me by others, some interesting cultural events. Many of the photos I have attached are by others as well. Even when I think there is not much to write about, I certainly seem to find new things to share. Soon our first year in Panama will be over, but there are always new adventures, experiences, challenges, and blessings to share. Every day I thank God for these.