We've been on the road quite a bit lately - traveling for work purposes - working on revising materials for each of our "Community Economic Development" iniatives, seminars, charlas, etc. and hosting lots and lots of visitors!
The flood of visitors started in late April with my sister Sandra. She brought "Christmas" with her - or in other words, she brought a lot of replacement stuff with her from what was lost in Ben's bag. Even though we spent our own money replacing most of the items, it was still awesome to get so much new stuff at once - and even better to get a bag of Easter candy too! Sandy spent 9 days in the country, and she was our first visitor to spend 2 nights in our community! We had to brave a few significant bug attacks, but we had a great time and she got to experience an 18th birthday party, Comarca Ngobe-Bugle style! Complete with arroz con pollo, a "chicha" made of fruit cocktail, a cake baked in my oven, and a pinata filled with candy and flour! Not only did she brave our site for that long, but we all almost got stuck in the area because our chiva drivers went on strike on the day we tried to leave! Good times!
We also spent time in Cerro Punta, we hiked in the Parque Internacional La Amistad and saw a great waterfall - it was a steep hike and we all learned about "shaky legs syndrome" in the days to follow! We had good spa time, and then headed to Boquete where we ziplined through the canopy! We also spent some time at the beach. It was a full trip, and made all the more exciting the last day when our David-Panama bus broke down TWICE. The first time we had to wait an hour and a half for a replacement, the second time (with different bus) we lost the AC but continued on. Because of the break-downs we barely got her checked in for her flight on time, but we made it! Major kudos to Sandy for her patience with all the public transport (and it's issues)!
Sandy and I pose in Casco Viejo in Panama City.
Visitors = Good food! We enjoy Mexican food in Panama City.
We even cook better foods for visitors! Here I show how excited we are about "garlic bread."
And Sandy sure looks excited to eat it, or by how awesome our house is!
Lovely Las Lajas. Ben is enjoying a Panama.
Sandy & Ben play a heated match of Ping Pong in Cerro Punta.
We've really been blessed to have so many awesome visitors lately, but to be honest, we're also glad to be done (for now!) - it will be good to get back into our routine, and get more time in our community. Our time is drawing to a close (our time in our community, at least) and we really want to enjoy every moment we possibly can. We've only got about 3.5 months left in our service now, and we're looking to the future. We've decided we ARE staying, for a while. We are currently working out the details, and some of them are supposed to be kept under wraps for a while, but look for the info in a blog coming soon!!