Nov 30, 2014

President Varela Visits Boquete

The holiday festivities were still going strong at noon when I drove downtown to explore.   Panama's new President,  Juan Carlos Varela, was in the grandstand watching the marching bands and waving to people.  Additional bands and other participants are traveling in from surrounding areas, and I expect the parade will continue into the early night hours.    It's really an emotional experience to see Panama's school children express their patriotism,  and a major reason I never tire of attending the parades.

For great photos taken by Mark Heyer, go to this URL.  You won't be sorry !

Nov 29, 2014

Boquete Rainbow---A Sign of Summer

I've said all along that summer was going to be here early this year...We've had an incredibly mild rainy season, and the winds, bajareques, and rainbows are already here!  This will probably mean water shortages toward the end of the summer, and a few dry mountainsides, but we can deal with all that if/when it becomes an issue.  For now, the summer is a welcome thought.

Yesterday was the date of Panama's Independence from Spain, and we are in the midst of a 4-day weekend.  There were school bands that marched in a several hour-long parade yesterday.  But the pueblo is officially celebrating the event tomorrow, Sunday.  There will be marching bands and polleras and horses and music and longs lines of people along the downtown streets from about 9 am until around 6 pm.  The preparations are underway at this time.  A quick trip to the grocery store revealed the following images of a sleepy mountain town gearing up to throw a party...

Nov 5, 2014

A Small Donation for a Worthy Cause

The lovely gringa in this photo is Lindsey Parry,  who runs a non-profit here in Boquete called Sewing Seeds of Love (SSOL). She employs and supports Ngobe Bugle women to sew clothing designs Lindsey creates for sale in the US under the label 4 Love Clothing. She has been in the US for several months now, working extra jobs to earn enough money to continue the non-profit and promote the fledgling 4 Love clothing line in the US. Below is a letter she sent out to friends. A copy of it was forwarded to me. I am posting here in case anyone feels inclined to contribute a small gift to a worthwhile cause at Christmas. I'm sure even the smallest donation would be gratefully accepted. See letter below.  Here are two website addresses to become more informed about her organizations:

I can’t believe it is almost November and there are already Christmas decorations everywhere I look. I’m in shock over how fast this year has flown by, but in the midst of life and daily responsibility it is quite empowering to take a step back and reflect…
This year has brought about a number of trials and tribulations for me personally as I continue to face the unknowns in my journey to walk God’s path for me. Fortunately, each time I’ve felt fear and worry over the future stir in me, I’ve been led to rely on this particular bible verse:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Each time I recite these words, I’m filled with peace and encouragement as the truth they hold resonates with my spirit. In times of doubt they restore my faith and give me the strength to continue to run the race with perseverance.
If you’re in the midst of a struggle or anything, I encourage you to read (and perhaps memorize) this verse. When you feel fear creeping in, whisper these words and allow the peace they bring to fill you.
The adventure of life is one heck of a ride. On one hand it’s filled with trials and tribulations and on the other, it’s filled with SO many reasons to celebrate…like Christmas, which is just around the corner!
As many of you know, I’m a huge advocate for giving the women and children that SSOL serves “life experiences”. I want to expose them to things they’ve never done before. And with Christmas, I want to make it as special as possible…
While it’s common around the holidays for the children (at the orphanage only) to receive gifts, few people take time to truly do something special for these people. To help amp up their Christmas experience, I’ve come up with the following “Christmas experiences”, one for the children at the orphanage and one for the children at our on-site project and the 4Love women: 
Christmas at the Orphanage:
Surprise the children with an afternoon and evening of Bounce Houses, Slip n’ Slide, music, grilling out for dinner and ice cream sundaes for 60+ children and all the workers.
Estimated cost: $700
Christmas for the women and children of SSOL and 4Love:
A day at the beach where transportation and lunch is provided for the women, children and their families.
Estimated cost: $500
For the past three years, SSOL has partnered with the local orphanage to help provide gifts for all 60 children on Christmas day. This year we would like to do the same for the 20 children who attend our SSOL on-site project…
In the past, gifts have ranged from colored pencils and coloring books to some sort of game or soccer ball, depending on the child’s interest. Since I know each of these kids extremely well, I’ll personally be shopping for their gifts to ensure they receive something they’ll truly love.
An average of $20 is spent to give each child a really nice gift. Total cost for the children at our on-site project is $400.
I’m currently in the states and will be heading back to Panama on November 17th
Since there are better deals (and the quality is much better) stateside, I’d like to buy the majority of these gifts while I’m here.
If you feel moved to help with any of these proposed “Christmas experiences”, donations can be made through our website here or if you prefer to send a check, they can be made out to Sowing Seeds of Love and sent to Kim Register: 209 Waterbury Ln. IHB, FL 32937
A warm hug and a big thank you to each of you who help make Christmas a little brighter for these children year after year. Without your support, none of this is possible.

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Our mailing address is: 
Sowing Seeds of Love
209 Waterbury Lane
IHB, FL 32937