This past week there have been two big events, both cause for celebration. The first one is here in Pedasí. After a few years of construction (since we first visited) and several months after the opening dedication by the President of Panama, the new health center has opened. The Centro Salud in town has completely moved to the new modern “Minsa Capsi” facility just outside of town. It is not a full hospital as originally planned, but still offers 24-hour urgent care with lab, pharmacy, and ambulance services. The only drawback is that it is not as close for those who have no car; they will either have to walk much further (on the open highway without sidewalks), take a taxi, or possibly catch the bus to Las Tablas and hopefully be able to get off in front. (There is no official bus stop for the salud yet.) Nevertheless, this facility is finally opened and hopefully the transportation concerns will be resolved soon.
(OLD & NEW)
Today the new wider and deeper Panama Canal for the mega ships opened with the maiden voyage of a large cargo ship leading the way through, starting at Colón on the Caribbean side and then finishing through the new locks in Panama City on the Pacific side. This project has taken many years to build (not without problems in construction and finances). But it is finally opened for business, bringing in much more revenue for Panama. The locks are constructed differently so as to recycle the water into several open reserve pools as each section fills up or lowers for the ships to move through the different levels. There was a huge celebration along the canal and live streaming was to watch this maiden ship and all the festivities was made available. In Las Tablas and many other towns, people could view it live on a big screen in the center of town. Mikkel and I watched it from his laptop at home.
We still keep in touch with new events happening in the U.S. But Pedasí, Panama is our home now, so history-making events in Panama have become more news-worthy to us as we enjoy “our third life” here.