All is fine and dandy here in Hot Panama. I just celebrated (not really), my 2 year anniversary here in San Felix. It’s been a fantastic 2 years, and I’m settling in for many, many more. As long as my health is good, and God wants me here, I’m stayin’.
Wind. March is the windiest time of the year by far. This month was no different. The winds in the Comarca were terrible! Many homes were severely damaged, trees snapped off 15-20 feet in the air. Sheet metal from the roofs were flying everywhere. Somehow, I had not heard of any injuries. One man I talked to said” I was sleeping and heard a loud noise. When I opened my eyes I could see the stars.” What made the non-injury report incredible is the fact that almost every house has big rocks and tree branches on their roofs to hold them down in the windy times. How none of the rocks fell inside the houses and didn’t hurt anyone is amazing. Be sure to check out the newly uploaded pics. I was helping the one homeowner repair his house when I was pulled away to address another ‘emergency’ going on at the same time.
That ‘emergency’ was the fact that the Hato Chami school had 100 more students enroll this year than last. Quite a large jump. Hence the new problem of not having enough seats for everyone. I repaired a ton, and was able to get 30 chairs from the San Felix school for them. San Felix received a lot of new chairs this year, and had a pile of the old chairs just waiting for someone to claim. Transporting the chairs was another problem. The school paid the local ‘cooperativo’ to go with me to San Felix for the chairs. On the way back up the mountain there was another protest! Road was blocked for 4 hours. This time the teachers were up in arms because the government wasn’t responding to their requests to fix the schools that were in very bad shape. Thumb twiddling time…not. I broke out my trusty bag of balloons, got out my camera and had a ball with all the kids in the area. I had a bunch of kids around me and one lady came over to me and said “What are you doing with these kids?” Sounded like she wanted to know if I was doing something I shouldn’t have been doing. Once she was on the same page, she asked for her picture AND, asked me to deliver a paper copy to her house when it was ready. How she changed her tune.
Walk. I went for a 7 hour walk down the mountain recently to see if my body could handle it. Drank lots of water and gatorade. It WAS long. I did make it ok, but for a couple of days my legs were talking to me. It is amazing how many ‘uphill parts’ there are when walking down the mountain.
Now why would I do that. Stay posted and I will tell you ‘the rest of the story…..’.
Winter. As the March winds blow through the states, marking the seasonal change from spring to summer; so do the March winds here signal the seasons changing from summer to winter. Well, not exactly winter as us from the Northeast know it. Winter here means the average daily temperature drops a whopping 5 degrees and it rains almost every day. This kind of winter suites me just fine. Winter also lasts 8 months here. Poor me! HeeHee!
Okay, now we covered wind, walk and winter. What else is happening……………..?
When working on the school chairs on a Saturday, a little boy quietly asked me for a balloon. Usually I have lots, but not this trip. Later he asked me for a toy car. Again I apologized and said I didn’t have and gifts with me. We went through this again a while later when he asked me for a ball. I have to admit I was a little frustrated when he, again, asked for something. He asked for a doll. I couldn’t help myself from asking why a little boy wanted a doll. He replied ‘it’s for my little sister’. Gulp!
Here is this persistent child, knowing that I had nothing for him, still trying to get something for his sister. You gotta love their hearts. Needless to say, when I got home, I bought the toy car, doll, and brought balloons and a ball I had and gave them to him.
I delivered 2 more wheelchairs, hospital supplies, received more blessings out of the blue, so to speak; was able to Skype into a person in Hospice to offer words of encouragement and prayer, and continue to try to help a family of 9 children with their basic needs.
Life is good! God is GREAT! Easter is almost here. Enjoy the Lenten services and reflect on just exactly what Easter is all about. The resurrected Christ grants ALL OF US the opportunity to spend eternity with him. Repent, pray, and live the Bible. May you, too, be blessed beyond your wildest imagination.