Saturday, December 25, 2010
The Giving Season
We made the 7 hour trip to Santa Marta to deliver the two Dalmatian pups to Magdiel and Keyvin. Our trip was multi-purposed. We also brought in Christmas gifts for the children of the church, attended Keyvin’s graduation, visited with the church, and delivered the pups. I had made a makeshift cage for them in the back of the truck. They made it just fine. We did worry a bit that we might have trouble getting them through the agricultural checkpoint, but just smiled our way through, and had no trouble. The pups were nearly scared to death by all the kids when we got there. After delivering the ‘goodies’ from Santa, and a short visit we headed for Penonome. There we picked up some groceries, a box of apples, and a case of grapes to take in to Marta on Thursday. We spent the night in Hotel Guacamaya (or Guacamole as I generally call it). We were up at 5:30 to go back to Santa Marta.
The 9th grade graduation was one of the reasons we went to Santa Marta on that specific day. Keyvin, Magdiel’s younger brother was graduating. Joy is Keyvin’s godmother, which is something special at the graduation. She had to present a special gift to him. The graduation was very nice. We were told that Joy should be there by 8:00 am, and we were there. We were all but alone, though. Only the cooks arrived before us. When we arrived at Las Tibias, the turn off from the pavement, we found Magdiel and his dad, an uncle and one of the teachers from the school waiting. Magdiel and his dad were supposed to have picked up the cupcakes from a nearby town at 6 that morning. They had not been able to get a bus into town, so they were still waiting when we arrived at 7:15. We took them to town to pick up the cupcakes then took all 4 into Santa Marta to the school.
Graduation was supposed to start at 9:00 am, but alas at 9:00 even Keyvin was not there. In fact only about 3 students had arrived by that time. It was 10:45 when we actually began. Alicia later told us that this was ‘typical Panamanian time’ in a resignated kind of way, but she herself did not arrive until about 10:15. I had special seating next to Joy, I think mainly because they thought I needed help, which is true. Yari was with us, but she did not get a seat inside the room, as it was full of parents, graduates and the god-parents. A very good lunch was served after the ceremony. We left all the stuff for the children of the church, and for the Gonzales family, and harvested fruit from our fruit trees on our little half-acre of property before heading home. We only had two extra riders on the way out. Normally the back of the truck is full of folks needing a ride out to the highway.
It was a long, difficult, but beautiful drive, and we arrived safely home around 9:00pm Thursday night.
We did not get to see the children open the gifts this year. As has been our custom, we like to let the church give them out on Sundays as if they were from the church, and because of Keyvin’s graduation, we could not be there on a Sunday. Sorry, no pictures this year!
Christmas Eve was Yari’s birthday. We were still wrapping presents in the morning. In the afternoon we delivered presents to our church family and neighbors. In the evening we had a little party and birthday dinner for Yari. Later she went to her grandparents that live near us, to enjoy her other family. The tradition here is to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve and then open gifts. Also the fireworks go off at midnight. The parrots, apparently scared by all the noise, started flying and talking. It wasn’t easy, but we waited up for Yari to come home.
It is now Saturday, Christmas morning. We, like North Americans, have waited to open our gifts and presents. Yari was not too thrilled about this Gringo tradition, but managed to wait patiently. Pictured is Yari in her new 'Santa' clothes and hat with Santa himself!
We wish you all a joyous Christmas season.
Because of Him,
Lynn & joy
A final note about Keyvin; he will be staying in a dorm room next year so that he can attend high school in the nearest big town. Thanks to your generous support, he will be able to continue his education.