Dec 28, 2011

A Holiday Prayer for Friends and Family


I translated the following prayer into English after receiving a Spanish email version from a Panamanian friend. I felt it to be comforting, inspiring, and uplifting.  Wishing all those who read it a similar response.
Dear Lord God, ruler of time and eternity… today, tomorrow, the past and the future all belong to you.  As this year is ending, I wish to give thanks for everything that I’ve received from you. Thank you for life, love, flowers, food, air, sun, moon, happiness, pain, for what was possible and for that which could not be. 

Everything I did this year I offer up to you; ---the work I accomplished, the things that passed through my hands & what I was able to create or achieve with them.  In your presence, I acknowledge the people with whom I’ve shared all these months---new friends, old loves, close friends & family,  those I see infrequently; those that have lent me a helping hand, and those whom I was able to help,---people who have shared my life, my work, my pain and my joy.

But also Lord, I want to ask your forgiveness for my flaws---for lost time, for money ill-spent, for unhelpful spoken words, for loving acts of kindness ungraciously received or un-acknowledged.    Please forgive my empty labors, my badly produced works, and all the time I spent living without enthusiasm.  Pardon me also for this rambling prayer that just  seeks to incorporate all my oversights,  carelessness and omissions.  Again I ask your pardon. 

I desire to live every day of this coming new year with optimism and kindness, bringing with me everywhere a heart  filled with understanding, compassion, and peace.  Lord please close my ears to all untruths, and stop my lips from expressing lies, selfishness, and spitefulness.  Open my being to all that is good, so that my spirit can be full with blessings that pour forth with every step that I take.  Fill me up with kindness, empathy, and happiness so that I can share these with people I live with or people I interact with, such that they recognize a part of YOU and Your influence on my life.

Within a few days we will be initiating a brand new year.   I hold my future days in limbo, awaiting the new calendar yet to be initiated, and present them to You , as You are the only one who knows if I will arrive to live them. 

I ask for my family, myself, and for my friends, that God grant us all peace, happiness, health, strength, prudence, humility, and knowledge.  Almighty God, please grant us a year replete with blessings, and teach us how to spread happiness.


Dec 5, 2011

Owner of The Bookmark Passes On

Some time ago, I wrote about Hal de Mun and his store, The Bookmark, in Dolega.  Although my initial encounter with Hal was a little jagged,  I enjoyed the store and later ran across his blog, which was well written, sharp-witted and entertaining.  I became a regular reader and follower. 

An announcement was sent out that he passed away on Dec. 3rd at the regional hospital in David.  Cause of death is not known, but he had been battling colon cancer since 2004 and was found unresponsive  sometime following a dialysis session.   

I was very sad to hear of Hal's passing, as are many people in the expat community in Chiriqui.  Reading his blog posts often brought me back to my San Francisco roots and gave me reassurance that there actually are others in this community who share my outlook re: many things.  His wit and candor will be sorely missed.  

Dec 3, 2011

Trip to Santa Fe, Panama

Just getting around to posting photos of the side trip taken from Santiago to Santa Fe last weekend.   Santa Fe is located about an hour and a half from Santiago, and is purported to be the next gringo enclave.   Expats are already getting entrenched there and the landscape is very reminiscent of Boquete.  Land is not cheap,  even now in it's primitive state, but still less than Boquete.   Foreign investors are buying it up as fast as they can.   The town has little to offer at this time, ---a small cooperative market and central park area is about it---but the surrounding areas are quite picturesque and the weather is definitely like Boquete.  On the day we went, it was overcast with a bajareque rolling in.
Below are a few photos from the drive. 

Probably won't have much Panama news to post in the coming week.    Heading back in time for the holidays.

Second Earthquake in Less than a Week

Yesterday at just a few minutes before 2:00 am we had another tremor--this time a 5.0 magnitude.  I was in bed, but still awake.  Too tired to give it much attention, though.  For some reason the earthquakes here don't feel as strong as they register.   Don't know if living in a less urban area has something to do with it.  Or perhaps apartment buildings, condos, and other concrete jungles just shake more.  The epicenter was near David this time.  No reported damage.  The locals here just shrug it off and say that these tremors always happen during the transitionary period between the rainy season and the dry season.
I'm fine as long as dormant Volcan Baru keeps sleeping.