gen·u·ine/ [jen-yoo-in] adjective
- possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real: genuine sympathy; a genuine antique.
- properly so called: a genuine case of smallpox.
- free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere: a genuine person.
- descended from the original stock; pure in breed: a genuine Celtic people.
Genuine is a word that has gone through my mind quite often the last few days. When we decided to give up the working life and snow and move to a climate somewhere warmer we also left family and the many friends we’d made over the years. It’s not that we were always firmly rooted in one place, after all we did move a few times because of SU’s career but we had become settled in our home and with our circle of friends.
I’ve always been told that I have a good “feel” for people. I think that comes in part from observation. By observation I mean looking at the surroundings and making mental notes and people watching. I’m a people watcher from way back; I think it’s genetically imprinted in me from my mother, which brings me back to the word “genuine”.
Over the last two years from our first trip to Panama we’ve met many people. Since we’ve lived here we’ve seen people come and go. Some have come with the intention of being here for a long time but then as quickly as they arrive we hear that they have left again. There are some that I have “clicked” with and love to spend time with and others that I only have a passing social acquaintance with. Some I don’t see as often as others, but I still consider them dear friends who I know we could call on in a minute if we needed them. Building up a support system when you’re so far from home is important and I think we’ve achieved that. I like to think that we’ve surrounded ourselves with genuine people. As I pointed out to another friend recently, life is too short to live with posturing and pretense. The people I want to spend time with come with no affectation, genuinely nice people without an agenda, no matter what their background is.
These last few days SU and I have spent some time with Connie and Mikkel from Our Third Life-Pedasi, Panama and Kris and Joel from The Panama Adventure. Connie and Mikkel have lived in the burg for almost three months now and I’ve gotten to know them through Connie’s volunteer teaching with me at Beuna Vida. Kris and Joel are blogging friends from David and they came down the peninsula for a few days to see what our part of Panama looks like. When we met for dinner on Sunday evening after greeting Kris she commented that she really didn’t know what I looked like. I rarely post pictures of myself so she wasn’t sure who to look for. I really don’t like having my picture taken and I prefer being behind the camera. With Kris’ comment in mind, I handed the camera over to SU for the evening and let him take a few pictures. In the interest of holding myself accountable and being genuine and authentic I’m going to share them, even though I really don’t care for any of them. There’s what I’d like to call “interesting” captures.
In future I’ll try and post more pictures of myself and SU. Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite photo. I just hope that when Connie and Kris post about our visit at least one of them will have a picture that doesn’t make me look like I just swallowed a fly or posing for a bra that lifts and separates in the campo. 🙂