A Time to Remember

It’s Easter/Ishtar around the world and people are celebrating with friends and family.  Some will go to church, children will hunt eggs and devour Easter baskets filled with candy,  people with gather around tables with exquisite tablecloths covered with delicious treats,  and TV’s will broadcast numerous sports games, and for most, this will be a day of joy.
We had planned on joining friends today for an Easter meal, but sadly, had to cancel our plans as our good friend, Lesia’s mother had passed away, and she was making plans for the long trip back to Canada.  This got me to thinking about Irene, my mother-in-law, who passed away not long ago and my beautiful daughter, Tymara, who left us way too soon at 23.  Taking time to honor their memories is something I do on a regular basis, but today was extra sweet.
I am reminded of how precious life is and how absolutely blessed my life is.  That’s not too say that I don’t have sorrow, pain,  or petty annoyances.  To be sure, I do, especially with not having water for 8 days, knees and a back that remind me constantly I am not 20, and a relationship that challenges me daily to be a better person.  I take for granted my safety, but today I do not take that lightly.
For the past few weeks, there has been an intensive search for two young Dutch girls spending time here in Boquete.  The community came together with local government officials to follow any clues that might lead to their whereabouts.  With a heavy heart, I share the news that they are still missing and the official search has been called off.
Dennis was very excited to tell me a high school friend of his, Ed Marzek,  was climbing Mt. Everest.  He was following his progress with great anticipation, but then his excitement turned to concern as he relayed the news of a massive avalanche that took the lives of 16 people.  3 of the men were with the expedition Ed was on.  He shared a letter from Ed stating that the sherpas had voted to suspend any more trips this year as a memorial to the lives lost, only to add, that the American tour operators were trying to overthrow this vote in favor of the revenue such trekking inspires.  This saddens me to no end when I hear that greed outweighs compassion for the worst disaster Mt. Everest has every experienced.
Which brings me to what I had really planned on sharing in this blog.  The news has been giving a lot of coverage on the Rwanda genocide that occurred 20 years ago.  Most people I know haven’t given it much thought as it is lightyears away from our protected world of privilege.  However, a few weeks ago, I met a beautiful soul named Francois, who was from Rwanda, and asked if I would come to a gathering in remembrance of what happened.  I believe there are no chance meetings, and so I accepted her invitation and spent a memorable evening with several genuinely compassionate people, who saw the importance in remembering and taking time to honor the many lives lost. We lit candles and stood in contemplation, while Piero shared a brief history leading up to the genocide and how no one tried to intervene.  Many have seen Hotel Rwanda, which is the Hollywood version of what happened, but the truth that speaks to me is how we don’t see that we are all connected and affected by non-action.  History continues to repeat itself in many parts of the world when we don’t realize that borders are artificial boundaries and that we are all human beings on a single planet where to do nothing is the real evil.  I found comfort in the many voices that came together and left with the belief that each one of us has a responsibility to make a difference in whatever way that manifests in our lives.
I know today’s blog is not a tribute to the wonderful life we are living here in Panama, but in a way, it really is.  Yesterday, I stood in a room with men and women from the UK, Rwanda, Panama, Trinidad, and the US.  We were united in our prayer for peace for all.  And that’s a wonderful tribute to Panama and anywhere else I happen to find myself.

“In all my travels, I’ve never seen a country’s population more determined to forgive, and to build and succeed than in Rwanda.” 
― Rick WarrenThe Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones

Piero shares a history of Rwanda’s genocide
Small alter
My friend, Francois

About Rona True

Welcome to my blog. My name is Rona and I live here in Boquete, with my husband, Dennis. I've been keeping an online 'journal' of our adventure moving to Panama as a way to stay in touch with friends. As the universe is wont to do, my path crossed with some serious bloggers who have been encouraging me to step it up a bit with my technology, and so here I am; a novice blogger with a penchant for the spiritual path. Panama is a perfect place to recover the pieces I left along the way as I raised a family, had a career in teaching, and generally followed the 'responsible' road. I travel a new road now and each day brings a new awareness. Panama is a land which brings the senses alive. The culture, warmth of its people, sights and sounds are the stimulus for my journey. Without my incredible husband, this would not be possible. We breathe the same air on this adventure and I invite you to come along for the ride.
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1 Response to A Time to Remember

  1. Kris C says:

    Understanding what others have survived, or not survived makes our daily problems seem very insignificant.

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