So it’s been a while. I haven’t written much because after a year, you kind of get the idea of what life here is like. We continue to learn about Panama and adjust our thinking whenever necessary.
There are so many new places to explore I am pretty sure we will never get tired of it. Some places are just so wonderful, we keep returning and Las Lajas is one of those places. I had my concerns that 3 days with a group of folks that I only partly knew would hold my interest and not drive me up a coconut tree. In all actuality, it was awesome. I got to go birding in the wetlands which is one of my all time favorite things to do and saw a variety of wetland and shore birds native to that area. I got in a little hammock time and I finished my book in time for this month’s meet up of the book club at the library. I worked on my boogie board style (I actually have no style other than hanging on) played in the waves, and took wonderfully long walks along the shore. I also learned how to play Zilch, Taboo, and some other games while getting to know the group we met up with a little better. On the last night, we set off some pretty awesome fireworks and made a short music video (some killer musicians in the group) to send to Robyn’s mother for her birthday, which was very touching. Some little remnant of my old self felt a little guilty that I am able to totally enjoy being at peace with doing everything and nothing, but I am quickly getting over that. I have never felt more alive and it is a wonderful feeling to have the freedom to experience life on such a cellular level.
We are busy planning our next escape to Ecuador with John and Margo. Dennis and John have had a few side adventures of their own, one being a fishing trip to beyond Puerto Armuelles till the wee hours and managing to drive into a ditch. No elaboration necessary, but we do have 4 new tires, which we needed anyway. ‘Nuff said!
And this brings me to the latest little glitch in an otherwise tranquil existence. We were robbed! It sounds so awful and I know our friends back in the US were horrified to hear that this happened. I am sad that this occurred, but hardly surprised. If you ask anyone around this area, they will say almost the same thing. ” Gringos are a target. You will settle in and relax and then a theft will occur. It will be a quick snatch and grab. They only want items that fit in a backpack. ” Well, we were a textbook example because that is exactly what happened. We had noticed a bit more activity on our street lately due to new homes going in. It saddens me to think it might have been someone we knew, but the truth is we will never know. We went out to dinner and came home to find the bedroom bars had been removed with a crowbar. Laptop, Ipad, cell phone, binoculars, jewelry, 1/2 bottle of wine, a loaf of bread and my calcium supplements were taken. All I can think is that somewhere, there is a ‘ladrone’ with good bone density. I am not angry. I did move briefly into a fearful state because someone had been in my home without permission. I know I am blessed to have more, in the way of material things, than many people here and that makes me a target. Will I stop befriending Panamanians? Certainly not. Our good friend, Ahmad, came over to help Dennis weld and secure the bars to prevent any further break-ins. Camera security is next and we move on from this experience wiser and better prepared. I am reminded that our good friend in Post Falls had his truck stolen from his home about a year ago. He stepped up his security and made the necessary changes to regain his sense of well being. We are defined by how we meet challenges, not by the challenges themselves. They do not cause us to retreat. So there you have it. End of this particular story.
As you know, Dennis and I have been volunteering at Amigos de Animales, so it was just a matter of time until we brought home a dog of our own. Elliot is still a strong memory for us, and we weren’t sure we had enough love to offer another critter. When I saw this little guy up for adoption, I knew immediately that he and I were going to be good buddies. Dennis reluctantly agreed and now has a new ‘shop dog’ to supervise his every move. He doesn’t seem to mind at all.
Next week looks to be another busy week with painting and spanish classes, trip planning, Satsang, reading and dog training. Something I learned in my painting class is that with watercolors, you have to be willing to surrender control. The results are often amazing. My metaphor for life.
“SECURITY IS MOSTLY A SUPERSTITION. IT DOES NOT EXIST IN NATURE, NOR DO THE CHILDREN OF MEN AS A WHOLE EXPERIENCE IT. AVOIDING DANGER IS NO SAFER IN THE LONG RUN THAN OUTRIGHT EXPOSURE. LIFE IS EITHER A DARING ADVENTURE, OR NOTHING.” Helen Keller