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Posted on Sep 29, 2011

New Friends in Old Places

New Friends in Old Places

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This is our fifth time in Panama. My father moved here back in ’99. He remarried to a Panamanian woman and created his own little tropical paradise, if you will. So, the Chiriqui District of Panama is very familiar and precious to us. Over the years, we’ve made dear friends with a local family here and have had the honor of watching them (and them watching us) grow. Today, we met something else. Something new, something special.
Today, we had the honor of speaking at the Tuesday Community Meeting in the Boquete Community Players auditorium. There, we found a full house of open-minded, attentive kindly folk with a spark in their eyes, and an easy laugh upon their lips. As one who spends a great deal of her time lecturing to large audiences; it still amazes me, how within a matter of minutes total strangers become friends.

Of course, it always helps when you have adorable kids singing songs in a foreign tongue, and we thank Dahnya for setting up the stage for us. (We also admire her for having the courage to do so, but that’s another entry, some other day, and on my parenting site).

Upon reflecting on today’s talk, I think four things have stuck with me most:

1- How Cat Vann (a participant in my Clean Your Soul class and a recipient of Kobi’s canine volunteerism) stood up and said some authentic words on our behalf. Turns out this community has had their fair share of scams and we had the immense pleasure of turning on several community members’ alarms. A week or so before we spoke, Kobi naively advertised our services (as a valor attempt to earn more income) and got kicked, insulted, and attacked in a way that took our breathes away. To make a long story short, we’ve all learned and become the wiser for it;  but Cat standing up and saying such kind words about us was greatly appreciated, and really choked me up.

2- Which graciously leads me unto the second reflection: I did get choked up today about Orazi’s new (and gone) best friend Ever, and our lives on the ranch in La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica. We have dozens of photos of the boy and an equal number of videos; and I can’t seem to get myself to write about him. I keep wanting to ‘get around’ to dedicating a blog entry in his honor, but I just don’t do it. And today, seeing that I still can’t speak of him for long without bawling; I realized that I haven’t done the soul work I need to to fully appreciate the beauty of connecting so deeply to child so remarkable, and moving on. So, I hug myself, and welcome myself to look into and clean it. When something precious and beautiful ends, we can mourn it or celebrate it. I want to celebrate.

3- That I’m still freaked out whenever we’re about to leave the familiar and enter the UNKNOWN. We know Boquete. We know it well now. I know where the grocery stores are and I know which fruit and veggie stand charges double; I know where Dr. Chan is (what a sweetie) and I know at least thirty people around town; I know where I lay my head down at night and I know how to get from here to there without thinking about it. And as we prepare for our departure from here; again I realize that I don’t know ANYTHING  about there. I don’t know where we will sleep, who we will meet, and if I’ll feel safe there with my kids. And like every other time I’ve stood at the brink of uncertainty, I’ve discovered more magic than I could have imagined when I stood ‘back there’ and peered intrepidly forward.

4- Well, there are so many more thoughts that are floating around and I just can’t narrow it down to one. So, I’ll just mention them as they flit around instead of grabbing on to just one.

  • I do love speaking to groups.
  • I do hope we continue to get more media coverage and blog entries and referrals to our young site (it helps tremendously) and new facebook page.
  • I do love what our family is doing and when I take a step back from our daily lives and share it with others, it helps me pat myself on the back and say, “right on cowboy, right on”.
  • I do love laughing at the funny things that have happened in our lives (including walking into a funeral!) , and use humor as a lens to the world.
  • I do dearly appreciate the great review and kind words given to us today by Lee Leltzer on the Boquete Panama Guide.
  • And lastly, I do write in “I” because as my dear husband is busy cooking  and taking care of all the logistics of our nomadic family; he leaves me to write to my heart’s content. Just another reminder why I’m thrilled to be ‘shattered‘.
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