I started my day today, as many of my friends do, reading the ‘Status Updates’ of my various friends and acquaintances on Facebook. The first one I read really caught my eye, and was posted by my friend’s daughter – who is a teenager.
“People were created to be loved, and things were created to be used. The reason why the world is chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.”
What a profound statement for a young, teenager to make. I’m not sure if she created it, or found it somewhere, but I was impressed.
Since we’ve come to Panama, and left 99% of our belongings at home in Canada, we know what it is like to not have ‘our things’. Every now and then I have a passing moment where I think…”wow, it would’ve been nice to have this or that here”. But for the most part, we have not missed our ‘things’. We’ve been embraced by pretty much everyone we meet.
The young couple that we rent from, have been kind, incredibly helpful, caring, considerate and have become our friends. Jose Manuel, Claudia and their daughter are staying with their parents until their new place is ready to move into. Their parents, Jose Manuel Sr. and Blanca are shown in the next picture (alongside Jose Manuel Jr.). They have also taken us under their wing, showing us around, helping us find things, opening their Casita in El Valle to us, and treating us like their own family.
We feel very loved, and very blessed here. Last night we were invited by our ‘Panamanian family’ to experience a celebration at the administration building of the Panama Canal. It was an evening that Jose Manuel Sr. had invited us to, as he heads up the Panama Canal Folkloric Group, and he organized, chose the music and dances for the entire evening. WOW, were we blown away! The big hill in front of the huge, white (and very impressive looking) administration building for the canal was packed with people. We were invited to sit in the VIP section with the Medica family, meeting many other family members, who also embraced us with open arms. We listened to the music intently, picking up familiar words here and there, and witnessed the Panamanian culture at its best! We enjoyed yucca and carne (steak) ($2/plate), took lots of pictures, and had a wonderful time.
It is truly amazing how we were lead to the Médica family in this Central American, Spanish-speaking country. We are very blessed to have them in our lives. INDEED, people are meant to be loved, things are simply meant to be used and appreciated.