Awesome Saturday for Los Animales!!!

I’ve posted about the Spay and Neuter group that has been formed in our community several times, I’ll post the links below if any of you would like to check them out.  The formal name is Animal Advocates of Pedasi/Defensores de los Animales de Pedasi and we even have a cool logo, created by Connie’s esposo Mikkel.

Animal Advocates Jpeg

Connie graciously took over as Chief Slave Driver President a little while ago and our little group has the wonderful good fortune to have grown in the last few months.  You can find Connie’s posting about the last spay clinic that took place while I was in Canada here.

Yesterday our merry band of volunteers held a patio sale and marketplace in the cancha (basketball court) to raise some funding to help subsidize the work we’re trying to do and bring awareness to the community of who we are.  The funds we raise help to subsidize the sterilization of some of the local pets and pay for a monthly advertisement in our local paper.  Some of the local artisans were invited to the market for a low $5.00 per spot.  We were a little worried that we hadn’t gotten the word out but our fears were laid to rest when we arrived to set up just before 7:00 am and there were already people waiting.   We had some really great “stuff” to sell, household goods and clothing practically sold themselves and one of the stranger items that we sold were a pair of skis; snow skies.  Rumour has it that there is a crazy pair of Canucks that are going to use them on the beach.

It was a long, rewarding day monetarily for our group and hopefully for the other vendors but it also feels good to be raising awareness about animal care and control in our community.  I’m sure Connie will be writing a post of her own about the event but I’d like to put my thanks forward to all who helped with set up and tear down, donated items for sale, gave of their time, Buena Vida Language School  and Casa Lajajagua who both came forward with raffle prizes, and all the vendors who spent the day with us.   And to the community, gracias a todos, even if you only spent 10¢ it’s still 10¢ more than we had on Friday to help an animal in our district…in the campo.

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 More about our group…
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Snapshot Sunday ~ 31/08/2014

Dos Gatos at their nightly post.

Dos Gatos Shelf

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Good Morning World!

We had a beautiful sunrise this morning.  Welcome World, the day is going to be a busy one!

IMG_8269 IMG_8270 IMG_8271 IMG_8272 IMG_8273


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Hola el Borrigero

The dialogue of two photographic images, what story do they tell?



El borrigero, what a poser!

Want some more dialogue?
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TED Talk Thursday ~ Using “Wasted” Time Thoughtfully

* I’ve got my days all screwed up obviously, but welcome to TED Talk one day early!

My first computer was a Commodore 64. I got it as a present from my mom when I was eight years old, and all I wanted to do with that computer was play games. ~ Luis von Ahn ~

I’m old enough to remember the time before computers. Heck, I’m old enough to remember when electric typewriters became mainstream; we actually had more manual typewriters than electric in my high school. I was at a meeting on Saturday where “DOS” was mentioned. DOS is the acronym for “disk operating system” a program that controls the computers transfer of data to and from a hard or floppy disk. Anyone who worked with an early computer would be familiar with all the code that was required to get the simplest thing done and the flashing yellow bits against the black or blue screen.

The computers of today have certainly revolutionized the way we live and are capable of doing some amazingly wonderful things and some not so wonderful things in the wrong hands. Today’s TED Talk is about a few small but amazing things that the computer and computer engineers have brought into the world.

Luis von Ahn is the creator of duolingo  and a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Duolingo is a free language-learning app that has more than 12 million users. I’m not generally a computer game player but this in one of the few that I do enjoy. Here’s a little demonstration:

Not only has Professor von Ahn brought us this free learning tool but he is a collaborating inventor of CAPTCHA invented to help keep spambots off of sites and reCAPTCHA which he speaks about here. These are both programs that most of us have met while using the interweb to buy or sign up for something. In this video he explains how reCAPTCHA is doing something amazing; converting a word into a digital form that can be processed by a computer. Helping to digitize what a computer scanner is trying (and failing) to change.

If you’re a lover of using your time productively and thoughtfully, would like to learn a new language for free, or want to learn a little something about how we’ve all helped to preserve old books or newspaper articles you’ll find this talk interesting. I know I did…in the campo.

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Peace Among the Nations

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. ~ Mother Teresa ~

The other day a few of us in the campo were discussing the News.  We agreed that most of the News on the television and in the newspapers is about wars and murders and good news is scarce.  We were all in agreement that sometimes it’s just good to enjoy peacefulness and avoid watching or reading about some of the things that aren’t so peaceful in the world.

Many times I skip stories in the newspaper that are rehashing the news that I’ve seen on television.  I did come upon a story recently that I took the time to read thoroughly and it was about the release of the “Global Peace Index”.  I took some time to look at the report and think about its contents because it’s the kind of thing I like to do.  So at the risk of being called a “communist” as I have in the past, I’m going to share a little of what I learned with this post.

The report is compiled by The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an autonomous, not-for-profit think tank dedicated to supporting a more peaceful society. Based in Sydney, the think tank also has offices in New York, Mexico City and Oxford.  The group developed out of a discovery of the first Global Peace Index in 2007– that there is a significant relationship between peacefulness and national wealth. Steve Killelea an Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist provided the primary backing to found and run the Institute.

From the website: 

 The GPI is composed of 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources that measure both internal and external factors. All of the indicators are banded on a scale of 1-5 and qualitative indicators are scored by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s extensive team of country analysts.

The indicators are divided into three key thematic categories:
• 5 measures of ongoing conflict such as number of conflicts fought and number of deaths from organized conflict.
• 10 measures of societal safety and security such as number of displaced people, potential for terrorist acts, number of homicides, number of jailed population.
• 7 measures of militarization such as military expenditure, number of armed service personnel, ease of access to small arms and light weapons.


The 2014 Index reported that only 11 countries were free from external and internal conflict and Panama made that short list. This information doesn’t mean that those 11 countries are the most tranquilo countries.  As noted above, the index measures the absence of conflict and how the country performs in averting conflict. Panama is 57 out of 162 on the list and Canada is in seventh spot. Panama scores high in staying out of conflict but scores lower in peace and security.   The challenges facing Latin American countries in general are crime, violence (including against women and youth), state corruption and organised crime.  Some of what we would consider “first world” countries scored poorly on the list because of the militarization of the country, the amount of nuclear and heavy weapons and the percentage of people in jail.  I found those statistics interesting given the conversations in the media recently about the militarization of police forces.

The world has become less peaceful in the seven years that GPI has been produced.  With the news around the world of escalation in conflict in areas such as the Middle East and the Ukraine I’m very happy that we are enjoying retirement in a peaceful country.  I guess “peaceful” is also a matter of perspective; but I’ll take the roosters crowing, the music from the cantina and the Howler Monkeys chatting from the distant river any day…in the campo.

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Snapshot Sunday ~ 24/05/2014

The best $1.25 I spent while I was in Canada.

Bandido Tunnel

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Fray ~ Refriega, Lucha, Combate,  Melee, Fight, Combat

Fray (noun)

A situation of intense activity, typically one incorporating an element of aggression or competition.  A battle or fight.

Every October our small town celebrates its culture and folklore with the celebration of the Festival de las Carretas, la Cultura y el Folclore.  I posted about the presentation of Señorita Pedasi 2014 last week in preparation of this year’s festival.

When presented with the word “fray” for this week’s photo challenge the “fray” of the Running of the Bulls that is part of the Festival de las Carretas came to mind.  After the desfile entries are judged and the parade is completed the Vaqueros take over.  Two trucks are brought into Parque Central, one truck has a smallish bull and the other a larger one.  To get the Vaqueros warmed up the small one is released first and the brave young men, usually the ones that have consumed the most seco, try to get on the bulls back.  There is much yelling and screaming and running around the square as the poor beast is ridden and wrestled back into the truck it came in before the larger animal is released.  Usually no one is successful in getting on the larger beast’s back and the Vaqueros on horseback end up corralling it on our street.

Some might call this fray barbaric but it is the tradition of Panameño culture…in the campo.


 Wade into the fray:
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TED Talk Thursday ~ How Did I Get That Cold Virus?

Today’s talk is from the Ted-Ed site and what a wonderful site it is.  Ted-Ed’s aim is to give “lessons worth sharing”.  The site combines original lessons and Ted Talks to create a great site full of interesting information for any type of inquisitive mind.

There is so much to choose from but I settled on this little lesson about viruses and cells. For the first time in almost three years I caught a cold so I thought that this lesson was quite appropriate…in the campo.


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Snapshot Sunday 17/08/2014

Yesterday SU decided that it was time to tame the Red Passion Flower vine that has started to entwine itself around the Coconut Palms.  We agreed that anything was hanging loose could be trimmed so he got out the ladder to tackle the job.

After snipping a few spots he spotted this Ruddy Ground Dove nest.  We’ve decided to let the vine grow for now.


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