Talk Thursday ~ Electricity or Once Again No Hay Luz

Today I thought we’d learn a little about electricity.

Our latest power outage was caused by one of the biggest rainstorms of the season that traveled with us all the way from Panama on Tuesday.  There was so much water flowing in the district that it washed out a few power poles in neigbouring towns and plunged us into darkness and waterlessness around 9:00 Tuesday evening.  Almost 18 hours later order was restored, the distance hum of the generators owned by a lucky few ceased, and life returned to normal…in the campo.

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Wisdom Wednesday ~ 26/11/2014

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. ~ Joyce Meyer ~

Passion Fruit

 

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Good Morning Panama

We´re in Panama for a couple of days.   This is the beautiful sunrise off the Bay of Panama from our balcony this morning.

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The Bay of Panama is a stopping point and wintering area for more than twenty-four migratory birds from North America heading for warmer climates.  A court decision in 2013 rescued, at least part of it from destruction.  As in much of Panama,  the environment in the area is endangered by development and pollution.  The bay is also home to a large  fishing industry and the mangroves and wetlands supports other endangered animals including jaguars, tapirs and sea turtles.

In the past the government has allowed important wetland areas and mangroves to be filled to allow for development,  hopefully this is a step in realizing the importance of protecting the ecosystem.  There is also an ongoing project to improve sanitary conditions in low-income neighborhoods and to reduce pollution levels in city streams and rivers by upgrading and expanding the sewage system and potable water systems to clean up the Bay of Panama.  Now if they could only get people to stop dropping garbage on the roads…

Good morning and Feliz Lunes from the city!

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Snapshot Sunday ~ 23/11/2014

Every morning and every evening the back campo turns into a big bird highway.  Lately the Crested Oropendolas have taken the time to pause in their travels and root around in the big stand of bamboo in the neighbor’s yard, possibly considering it for future nesting grounds.  Yesterday evening however; there was a fiesta going on and so the birds cautiously observed from one of the large trees on the edge of the field before taking a fly by to their nesting spot for the evening…in the campo.

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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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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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