In the Desfile ~ Angular People

When presented with this week’s photo challenge I was kind of stumped.  I took a tour through some of the other posts for the challenge and I saw bridges, buildings, and such; beautiful buildings, bridges and such.  I have a few pictures of the same but then I got to thinking; “What more can I find in my Desfile de Patrias file to showcase a few pictures I haven’t shared?”  And sure enough, the Las Tablas Patria Parade provided a few more “angles” to the mix.  And so here are some Panameños showing off their “angular” stances…in the campo.

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Other interpretations of the weekly challenge can be found here.

 

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Talk Thursday ~ Baby, Baby, Baby!

Friends of ours have recently announced that they “have a bun in the oven”.  Actually I think that’s not really a Panameño term but they are expecting to add two little feet to their home next year.  We are pretty excited for them and we went out to supper last night to celebrate at our favorite “celebrate and have conversation” places Pasta y Vino.

Once we were seated the topic of conversation quickly turned to what the sex of the baby might be, childbirth etc.  I was interested to find out about how the medical system works in Panama for those who are covered by Social Security healthcare and if the mother to be had been given vitamins, if she would be given a sonogram later etc.  I had heard that many doctors in private practice schedule cesareans and I asked about that and we discussed the merits of natural child-birth over a “scheduled” child-birth.  You know, typical dinner conversation…maybe not.  It was a wonderful evening and we are very happy to be sharing in the excitement,  Over the course of the next months, given my inquisitive nature, I’m sure that I’ll learn a lot about how the maternity system works in Panama.

The papa to be already had us try to guess if we thought the baby would be a boy or a girl.  I felt it was way to early to speculate given that the little one is the size of a bean now, SU replied that he always just hoped for a healthy child.  With that theme in mind today I bring you a video that explains how, at the early stages of life we were once all girls.  (If references to anatomy offend you best skip this one, although it is nicely animated.)  And now that I’ve done my bit to help expand your mind I’m off to enjoy my coffee on the back porch and listen to the morning birds…in the campo.

 

 

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Wisdom Wednesday ~ 19/11/2014

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it. ~ Groucho Marx ~

Sunrise

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Snapshot Sunday ~ 16/11/2014

A zig zagging spider…pretty neat eh?  In the campo.

Zig zag spider

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Dias de Patrias ~ Continuación

All last week the parades continued throughout Panama.  Schools from all over the country travel to these parades to take part and to strut their stuff.  The largest of them was in La Villa de Los Santos on the 10th with 96 groups+ participating, beginning at noon and going into the wee hours of the next morning.  There were also parades in Santiago and Pocri and probably a few more that I don’t know about.  Many of the schools are in perpetual motion during the week traveling from parade to parade.  On Wednesday around mid morning we traveled to Chitre to do some errands and met up with the beginnings of the parade in Pocri.  On the way back in the late afternoon we met up with the tail end of it.

While we were in Chitre we needed to buy an item at the DO It Centre and of course they didn’t have it in stock at the store.  It needed to be brought in from the bodega (warehouse) it was explained to us, and it would take two days to get it in.  It wasn’t unexpected that it wasn’t in the store, many stores in Panama don’t carry a large amount of stock.  We agreed that we would buy the item there and return for it when it came in and I told the clerk that it was the same story every time, the item always had to be brought in.  He explained it away as being because of the Patria celebrations.  I told him that I realized that November was “the month of getting nothing done” in Panama and he laughed and agreed with me.

November is an interesting time.  Similar to North America, and I imagine many other countries, workers are entitled to the statutory holidays off and overtime pay if they work those stat holiday days.  I can’t recall any months in North America however; that have four statutory holidays all within the space of a few weeks.  Take into account the other statutory holidays during the year, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Carnival, Easter (don’t forget Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday) and there is a heck of a lot of paid vacation for the working people.  We’ve learned that we have to plan purchases such as gas and groceries, travel and bank withdrawals around the holidays, I kid you not the bank machines often get emptied and are not refilled during the big holidays.

Someone asked me last week what my favourite part of the parade in Las Tablas was and as always my quick response was the children.  And so, here’s more of the Desfile de Patrias de Las Tablas and the children…in the campo.

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By Effort

achievement (n) 1. something that has been accomplished, esp by hard work, ability, or heroism  2. successful completion; accomplishment

I could think of so many things that would show “achievement”.  The first thing that came to mind was raising three special human beings to adulthood, but the most recent tangible demonstration of “achievement” for me has been our move to Panama.

November 6 marked 2.5 years in this country.  Our achievements; although seemingly small to the uninformed observer, may not seem like much, but when I think about our first six months and how life has evolved since then, it seems like we’ve experienced a great deal.

One of our achievements has been taking what was once this:

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To this:

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1 2 And then to this:

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It seems sometimes, given the short time that we’ve taken to create this tropical lushness in our little garden, that we opened a box and it all sprang forth.  In reality it has taken some sunshine, some rain and a bit of trial and error.  And all of this could be a great analogy of how life in Panama is.

To do anything you have to begin somewhere and have a goal.  Moving to Panama and establishing a home has been one of our greatest achievements, other than those three lovely human beings…in the campo.

See more photo challenge achievements here!

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Ted Talk Thursday ~ Look Past the Disguise

This is the time of year where there will start to be several new faces around our little community.  Yesterday, after a day of errands and running around SU was telling me about some of his plans for today.  He mentioned that he had to go to one of the relatively new businesses in our community.  I mentioned that this person really seemed happy with his surroundings and has an appreciation of what nature has to offer.

It’s been my observation that the most content and yes, happiest people are the ones that appreciate their surroundings and what they have.  I see beautiful pictures posted by  community members showcasing Isla Iguana, the sunrise and sunset and even the stormy skies over the ocean.  Many have discovered that every day is a voyage of discovery,  you just have to open your heart and your eyes and look past the disguise to appreciate it.

I watched this video from Frans Lanting when it came out in October.  It’s short, but  carries a powerful message about how we are all interconnected with every other living thing.  As I watched it again I began to think about how it’s also a powerful reminder of how we need to pause and think about what brings us joy and fills us up and take the time to do those things. I feel truly blessed that I’ve been given the time to rediscover those things and to appreciate what I have and make the most of them. As Mr. Lanting says in this video “Let’s find a way to join the dance”…in the campo.

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Wisdom Wednesday ~ 12/11/2014

The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life. ~ Peace Pilgrim ~

Great Egret

 

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Remembrance Day November 2014

In Canada, November 11 is Remembrance Day.  The 11th day of the 11th month at 11:00 marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I.  In contemporary Canada the day is now a day to give thanks to the Canadian Armed Forces and to honour the men and women that have given their lives in service to Canada.

This year, I’d like to share with you the commemorative editorial cartoon from Patrick LaMontagne that was recently published in the Edmonton Journal.  Mr. LaMontagne wrote  on his Facebook Page;  “Both my wife and one of my editors asked me who wrote the quote in my Remembrance Day editorial cartoon that I posted today. While I’ve used quotes in the past, I would never do so without accreditation. The words in the cartoon, I wrote them myself.”

Remembrance 2014

Today we’ll grant them all a silent moment, think on them gently and raise a toast to them…in the campo.

You can read a blog post that Mr. LaMontagne wrote about creating his Remembrance Day editorial cartoon here.

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The Month of Patria Celebrations Continues

I mentioned yesterday that we went to Las Tablas to watch the Desfile de Patrias on Saturday.  This parade is held every year to commemorate the November 10th Grito de Los Santos or First Cry Freedom of  La Villa de Los Santos.  This marks an uprising in the village of Los Santos in the year 1821 and is known as the first step toward independence from Spain. The story goes that during the battle of Los Santos a woman by the name of Rufina Alfaro was the first to scream; Viva la libertad!  Today there will be another parade in La Villa de Los Santos to celebrate the occasion.

We arrived at around 09:30, grabbed a quick snack for SU and were in place at the end of the parade route by 10:00 in time to see the arrival of the dignitaries and Queens and dancers that had marched from the start point on the other side of town.

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The parade was a large one led first by the bomberos (firefighters) and their auxiliary groups and marching bands:

Bomberos

Followed by the national police force with their various pennants representing their districts and of course their marching band, and auxiliary:

Policia Nacional

And then came a group of Presidential Guards with their marching band:

Presidential Guard

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We were wondering with all these police and firemen and security guys all marching in the parade (not to mention the amount of police that are normally in place during the occasions) what was happening in case of emergencies?  Although the people in Las Tablas would have been well looked after…in the campo.

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