Talk Thursday ~ Our House

It’s our house. It’s on a hill. And there’s a tower. And it’s named for the idea, the concept and notion of peace. And it’s open to all of us. Times change, but that never has, let’s keep our heads and ensure that it never will.

~ Rick Mercer ~

Canada has had a difficult week after the shooting attack of a Canadian soldier on Parliament Hill and the death of another soldier in Quebec and I thought the video today was worth sharing.

Rick Mercer is a Canadian comedian, actor and writer and a native of St. John’s, Nfld.   He’s a political satirist and host of The Rick Mercer Report which airs on the national broadcaster CBC. Rick began his television career in 1993 as one of the creators, performers, and writers on the parody weekly news show This Hour Has 22 Min.  In 2001 his CBC Television special Talking To Americans became the highest rated Canadian comedy special of all time.  Each week Rick shares one of his “rants” and he usually hits the nail on the head with his commentary.


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Wisdom Wednesday ~ 29/10/2014

A child can teach an adult three things:

To be happy for no reason,

To always be busy with something, and

To know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.  

~ Paulo Coelho ~


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La Festival de las Carretas 2014 ~ ¡Qué Hermosa!

The first dance of Señorita Pedasi 2014, Lucy Carolin Pollard brought me some of the prettiest photos of the evening.  Still pictures fail to capture the fancy footwork of her companion but take my word for, it was amazing from where I was standing…in the campo.

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La Festival de las Carretas 2014 ~ La Coronación y La Pollera

After the entrance of Señorita Pedasi 2014, Miss Lucy was escorted up the many stairs to the stage for her coronation.

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The crown was carried in a Pintao by two wee ones, who proceeded across the floor and up the stairs where Señorita Pedasi 2013 placed the crown on the head of Señorita Pedasi 2014.

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After the coronation the new Señorita Pedasi went on a walk about to show off her new crown.  While she walked there was some narration about the colors and the construction of her pollera.

Lucy’s pollera and shawl (rebozo) for the two days of festivities was done in various shades and tones of red and orange.  The pollera is made of two separate pieces, a shirt and a Pollerón (long skirt) made of a fine white fabric background and handmade lace and embroidery.   The Pollerón (skirt) has three different segments, the pretina (upper waistline ), the body and the susto” (lower part) and a white petticoat (enagua) trimmed in lace is worn beneath it. The white fabric of the Pollerón and the shirt are decorated with handmade inserts that are sewn directly on them.  Other decorative work is cut off from other fabric and then finely sewed over the  fabric. The most expensive polleras have more complex decorations such as embroidered shading and tatting inserts.  The Pollera de Lujo like both Señoritas are wearing is one of the most expensive style of pollera and because of the amount of hand labour that goes into making a this style of pollera it usually takes six months to a year to complete.

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The Pollera de Lujo many jewels and hair ornaments to fancy it up even more.  Tradtional white tembleques  and shell and gold hair combs are worn in the hair, gold bracelets are worn on the wrists and several pendants and chains are worn around the neck.  I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that the ribbons, the pom-poms and the flat ballerina-like satin shoes are always the same color.  On Lucy, they were blue.

After Señorita Pedasi 2014 took her walk around it was time for Señorita Pedasi 2013 to say goodbye.  She also walked around one last time to thank everyone for their support, there was a presentation and then had one last dance with her compañero.

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After Señorita Pedasi 2013 and her group took their seats the Parade Marshall was presented and then there was the presentation of the flag to the abanderado, who also turned out to be the Master of Ceremonies.  This part was quite cute because he was really touched and honored to have the job.  He made a lengthy speech about how he “had no words” to describe what an honor it was for him and how it “touched his heart”.  The more he said; “No tengo palabras” and then continued on the more comical and yet touching I found it.



Tomorrow, the first dance of Señorita Pedasi 2014 and one of her compañeros…in the campo.

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Snapshot Sunday ~ 26/10/2014

On Friday there was an opening of the new  Mireya Moscoso  museum.   Mireya Moscoso was the first woman president of the Republic of Panama and she is from the Pedasi district.  In fact, probably every second person you pass on the street is her relative in some shape or form.  One of the Moscoso family houses that faces Parque Central has recently undergone a beautiful renovation and now stores memorabilia and pictures from Señora Moscoso’s early life and on.

SU and I popped in briefly on our way to the coronation on Friday night.  Despite SU’s insistence that he wasn’t dressed appropriately the photographer was determined to take our picture after we chatted with the President about the Canadian memorabilia.

Afterwards, the photographer told me to take a picture of the picture on his camera.  The resulting photo was pretty good…in the campo.


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La Festival de las Carretas, la Cultura y el Folklore 2014 ~ ¡Bailar!

The Festival de las Carretas began last night with the coronation of Seńorita Pedasi 2014.

Prior to starting the festivities the Master of Ceremonies led the crowd in a prayer and a moment of silence for a 16 year-old student that had been hit by lightening and killed just before lunch time yesterday.  The girl, from Los Ascientos had stood under a tree when the lightning struck.  We’d heard the loud boom when it happened and the cats came racing into the house.  The strike hit so hard that even though CPR was used they could not save her.  There was less of a crowd than is usual at this event and it likely was because not many people felt like celebrating.  In the last week several people in Panama have died from lightning strikes, most in the countryside in forested areas.

One of my favorite parts of the evening is the folk dancing with the colorful polleras whirling about and the fancy footwork of the young men.  The first dance of the evening was a mix of Pollera Blancas and of colorful striped skirts of the Pollera Montuna Santeña and campesino sombreros.  The young men were a combination of the more formal white shirt, black pants and leather shoes and the campesino style striped shirts and chancletas.

The first dance followed the entrance of Señorita Pedasi 2013 and her Tuna:



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After the first dance it was time for Señorita Pedasi 2014 to make her entrance with her Compañeros:

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Tomorrow…a better look at the beautiful pollera and the coronation on Snapshot Sunday…in the campo.

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Drive It? Hug It? Squeeze It?

The iconic VW Bug in stimulating, rejuvenating, enthusiastic orange.  Cover art for the owner’s manual. Das Auto.

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Explore other interpretations to this week’s WP Photo Challenge, Cover Art.
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Ted Talk Thursday ~ Those Who Serve

I was thinking for most of the morning about what to post today; most everything seemed trivial.  Anyone who has seen the news knows about the hit-and-run killing of a Canadian soldier and wounding of another in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu , Quebec on Monday.  Yesterday there another violent attack this time in the National Capital, Ottawa.  This senseless act led to the death of another Canadian soldier standing sentry at the National War Memorial.  This time the gunman managed to get into the Parliament buildings before being taken down.

We’ve watched and listened with interest from Panama to the news reports.  This morning our normal CNN International was replaced with the US version and we were able to see CNN Morning Host, Chris Cuomo on the scene for a short time.  I have to confess, I missed the deliberate calmness yesterday of Peter Mansbridge the unflappable CBC News Anchor but Cuomo and Anderson Cooper last night were the closest we were going to get.  SU actually flipped over to FOX No-News-But-Obama-Bashing thinking that we were going to get some information….phhhhffff!

The sad truth is that Canada lost a little of its innocence this week.  As the Prime Minister put it in his speech last night (Canada) “is no longer immune to the kinds of terrorist attacks that we have seen around the world”.  This sparked a discussion between SU and I about whether people who aren’t a part of the military understand “the job”.  Many people consider that being a soldier is just another “career” among many other careers to choose from.  Yes, it is, but it is also so much more for many of the people who serve their country; it’s a way of life.

The video today explains better than I ever could what it’s like to return from combat, even though the speaker is a US soldier.  The first half Wes Moore explains why he joined the military. Pay particular attention to the second half where he explains what “service” means to him and to many others.  I’m sure the soldier/victim in St Jean, who served 28 years in the military never thought that his life would come to and end so violently on home soil.  Or that the young reservist who was killed yesterday thought that by accepting the honor of standing watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier  would lead to his death.   And now I’ll get off my soapbox and let you watch the video…

Read more:



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Wisdom Wednesday ~ 22/10/2014

All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.  ~ Amelia Barr ~

Clouds El Ciruelo



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Two for One ~ Snake Warning

Yes, it’s gross isn’t it?  But is it not fascinating at the same time…in the campo?








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