Apr 29, 2013

Excursion to Gamez Island

Today was Labor Day in Panama.   What better way to spend the last day of a 3-day weekend than at a secluded beach on an uninhabited island in the Chiriqui Gulf?  Thanks to the efforts of Antonio Singh and Lideres en Tourismo,  five of us enjoyed a relaxing, refreshing, stress-free day in the sand and warm surf of an absolutely perfect location. Plans are now in the works to make this a monthly event, while the future also holds promise of a trip to Coiba Island in Veraquas.  It's a rough life, but someone has to live it.

Apr 25, 2013

Coffee Tour at Cafe Ruiz

Having heard that the Cafe Ruiz coffee tour in Boquete was one of the most complete and informative, a friend and I chose to spend a half-day  learning what we could about growing, processing, and enjoying locally grown arabica coffees, including the world renown and highly sought Geisha beans.  Our guide, Carlos, was very knowledgeable and informative regarding all aspects of the industry.  He taught us how to recognize varied tastes and smells in ground and brewed coffee, plus dispelled a few myths regarding caffeine content and roasting process.  At Cafe Ruiz, a coffee bean goes through sixteen different steps from the time it is picked until it is packaged for purchase. Because I cannot remember them all, I can only encourage those interested to go on their own guided tour. 

Did you know:
That espresso and french roast coffees are less caffeinated than latin or european roasts?
That the stronger the flavor, the more burnt beans are processed in coffee? 
That the darker the roast, the less caffeine per cup of coffee? 
That many ground coffee mixtures contain fillers such as corn, stems and twigs?
That european roast coffee has a citrus-flavored undertone?
That Geisha coffee originally comes from Ethiopia?

You can learn this and much more during a coffee tour with Cafe Ruiz.  It's a great way to spend a spare afternoon in Boquete!  Below is a link to get you started.

Apr 1, 2013

Easter Services in Boquete

After an ashamedly long absence from worship services, I returned for Easter Sunday service.  I was surprised by the size of the crowd in attendance, and chagrined to realize I only recognized perhaps 4 or 5 faces in the entire lot.  Granted, some attendees were possibly tourists or first time visitors to Boquete, however it also was very apparent that the expat community has grown exponentially and many younger families are now moving into the area.   The congregation was pleasantly blessed with a Children's Program skit regarding the crucifixion and resurrection. Something that couldn't have happened a few years ago, as there were few children in the area then.  There is also the promise of a choir group in the works.  All this has been happening over the last 10 months or so.  

In addition to these services, I've learned there is a small fellowship forming in Volcancito, and there has been a long-standing English mass in the Catholic church in the center of town with a few expat participants.