Dec 29, 2012

The Spector of Indigenous Protest Lurks Nearby

Just taken from Panama's TVN-2 website:  Various indigenous groups met on Saturday and decided to demand of the Panamanian government that it order the stoppage of activities related to the Barro Blanco hydroelectric plant while an independent international survey is  carried out regarding the environmental effects of the hydroelectric plant on the indigenous communities near the plant.

Manolo Mirando, of the April 10 Movement, described the government's position of  non-work stoppage as a mockery of the indigenous people and communities particularly affected by the Barro Blanco project.  He warned,  "That attitude could provoke discontent of the [political] bases that are again losing patience and might  return to the streets."
The various indigenous groups met in the Muna district of the comarca to address one singular point---acceptance or rejection of the survey being conducted while work on the project was ongoing.  The majority voted for work stoppage based on the demonstrated impact on their communities.  The General Chief of the Nรคgbe Bugle, Silvia Carrera, stated that the concerns presented by the members of the April 10 Movement and other indigenous bases will be presented to members of the Technical Committee.  
Carrera asked of President Ricado Martinelli that in the New Year he seek peace and tranquility in the country, and that he stop giving concessions to foreign companies, only seeking to get richer by destroying the environment and culture of Panama's people.

Dec 28, 2012

Important Link

Just finished reading a post by Don Ray Williams on his blog, Chiriqui Chatter, and felt it was important enough to share here [and anywhere else, as well].  It has to do with expats who might find themselves arrested and/or incarcerated in Panama---with or without cause.   The link is pasted below for posting date 12/28/12.

Update on Christmas parade...The event didn't start until about 9 pm, when it was quite dark.  My camera behaved poorly and most of the photos didn't turn out.   Lee Zeltzer has some good ones on Boquete Guide.

In general things have been quite tame in Panama and I haven't anything of substance to write about.
Looking forward to New Year's Eve celebrations. 

Wishing everyone a prosperous and productive 2013, and hoping against hope for a change in the violent craziness that is becoming commonplace in the suburban USA these days.  Perhaps 2013 will be the year we turn things around and start corrective action both individually and collectively to support, instead of isolate,  those who differ from the mainstream.  Acceptance and tolerance for a person's differences goes a long way in preventing the build up of rage and alienation that produces acts of madness and annihilation.  Let's all do what we can. 


Dec 24, 2012

Navidad en Panama

Sharing a you tube link to a song and video about Christmas in Panama.   Some of the photos are repetitive, but if you hang in until the end you'll see some additional ones that are well-worth the wait.  Hope you enjoy it!

Dec 23, 2012

It's Feeling a lot like Christmas

After several days of absolutely perfect weather, we're beginning to experience what's typical for the to colder temperatures and fierce winds, as previously mentioned.  Yesterday was a stay-at-home day, but today things have mellowed out a bit and the winds have turned intermittent. 
Yesterday morning, a friend was awakened at 5 o'clock to the sound of a falling plantain tree.  Being her take-charge self, she immediately "rescued" it with a shovel and machete while still in her nightgown accessorized with a pair of flowered  'gumboots'.  How do I know this?  I saw her Facebook page, of course.   It came to mind because I just perused the yard and found a banana tree that is threatening to do the same.  Tried propping it up with some posts, and will hail the gardener next time he returns.

The garden check also yielded a thrilled discovery of the blossom below.  They've been few and far between, making cultivation of the plants a big disappointment.  Not ready to give up just yet, though.  But next year I will plan things much differently and fertilize a lot.  I now know they need a lot of nitrogen and cross-pollination.   Out of 3 sites with humongous vines, I think I've reaped 4 fruits total.   Sigh.....At least it wasn't a total failure.


Planning to spend the 24th and 25th with friends in private gatherings.  There's usually a Christmas parade in downtown Boquete on the evening of the 24th.  Will try to snap some photos to post, although it usually doesn't get started until after dark and the photos don't always turn out well.  Should the attempt be unsuccessful, I would still like to extend warm wishes and holiday joy to everyone.  We've survived the end of the world predictions, so perhaps we can make this a benchmark year and see a turn around in the human spirit, pointing us all in a more compassionate and enlightened direction for centuries to come.   Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Dec 10, 2012

Single-Handedly Felling an Oak Tree

As much as I hated it, I watched a 20 foot oak tree in my yard be cut down today.  This is the second time the unfortunate tree has been mutilated, but it probably won't bounce back again.   Six years ago we cut the trunk and removed all the branches, but it sprouted new ones and just kept heading toward the sky.    It's a problem because the tree is growing only about four feet from my neighbor's house, and she's afraid it will topple over onto her roof.  Every January,  Boquete gets fierce winds.  It's not uncommon for trees to be uprooted and tossed about.   In fact, when I bought the house in 2006,  I had to hire someone to remove a huge, horizontal eucalyptus that had suffered this fate.
It's not easy getting a tree cut down in Boquete.  It requires a permit from the municipality.  The permit took 8 weeks to obtain.  In 2006, I didn't know a permit was required, and just paid someone  $ 20 to do the work.   Three men came out and handled it.  (The tree grew back, but that was fine with me.)  This time, I went the official route.   It took a total of 3 months to accomplish and cost $ 125.    One man came out to do the task, and he brought his teenage son and a friend to pick up the leaves and branches.    I admit I was swimming in doubts, but the photos below show how he did it.
I gave the wood to my neighbor, who is having it made into a rocking chair.  She has a new granddaughter she wants to be able to rock to sleep at night.


For me, it was fascinating to watch the process, from start to finish.  And seeing the tree trunk turn into 4 x 4's was more than I expected.    Seemed to be pretty nice wood, when it was all said and done.   A far cry from my Home Depot lumber shopping days.

Dec 1, 2012

Boquete's First Annual Juried Art Show

Last night's opening for Boquete Artwork's first paneled art exhibition and sale was well attended. Probably 100-200 people showed.  Wine and finger food was served and people seemed to enjoy mingling.  My friend, Marjorie (Freiburghaus) Goic's painting,  'Momentos Ocre'  took 3rd place in the Amateur Division.  Her sister, Cynthia, shared a 1st place award in the Professional Division for the painting 'Septimo Cielo'.  Her co-winner was Alan Fuentes, for his nude scuplture, 'Le Espere de Un Amor'.   Second place professional division went to Howard Hill for his photograph, 'Antelope Canyon Jewel, AZ'.  Third place was a direct carving on wood by Octavio Alvarez Bejar, titled 'Cuando un Alma Llega a la Tierra'.  
Second place Amateur Division went to Christina Ladesma for her painting 'Daybreak on the Nile', and Robyn Cole, president of Boquete Art Works, took first place for her encaustic and mixed media depiction, 'Authentic Lives'. 
The exhibition remains in the library until Dec. 27th.

  Professional Division, First Place winners 
 First Place, Amateur Division

 Second Place, Amateur Division

Third Place, Amateur Division
Honorable mentions, Professional Divison


   People's Choice Award, by Mary Beth White