TAXI!!

On numerous occasions Mike would pick up some of the Panamanian and Ngobe people walking to the grocery, to their jobs, to their homes, wherever. Most times they were carrying heavy gas tanks, children, heavy tools, etc. He would take them to their homes and they were very appreciative always asking, “How much money”?Mike would never accept any money. When he found himself doing this more and more he told me he was going to start a pickup service in the mornings. Most of the people live off the main road and would have to walk.20 a 60 minutes to the bus stop. Panama does have a good bus transportation system but they do not get off off paved roads.   So that is how Mike’s TAXI service started.

Saturday’s Are Special

Are you going to Panama to work in missions?  This question was asked of me so many times when people found out Mike and I were moving to Panama. Our reply was we would probably once we get settled. We had no idea what we would be doing or what God had in store for us. We just knew Panama was some place we would like to explore and just maybe live there.

That was three years ago. Today, we are busy with our every day chores on our finca along with our volunteering with different organizations in the Boquete area. Mike has his “Taxi” service — every morning he transports people  who live a distance from the bus stop. So many of the men have to carry heavy tools, children have to walk many miles to school, and older women have to carry gas tanks to get refilled at the local mercado. Mike does not charge anything to do this, but we get cabbage, chicken, tomatoes, fresh milk  — I love the fresh milk — and other things at times. All of this is truly appreciated by us since we know the people have so little

But why are our Saturday’s so special? Mike had his “Taxi” service but I had not been doing much of anything except piddling around the house. We knew there were many different organizations to where we could volunteer but we hadn’t checked into anything yet. So here is God working again. Last year Sally, our neighbor, had introduced us to Loesjia, a dear lady who has turned into one of our special friends. Loesja is a volunteer at the handicap foundation and has so much energy it makes your head spin watching her. Mike and I decided to give it a try. We were so attached to the Fmd students at North it seemed like a good fit for us. We showed up on that Saturday and absolutely fell in love with the people.

I know this is not a good idea of what we do at the foundation that will come in the next post. But I did have to show you this precious little one I got to work with last Saturday. Saturday’s Are Special!!!

Saril

Our friend Luis brought us some Saril one day and explained that it was very healthy for you. So, of course, Mike decided to plant some. We now have more Saril than what we need but that is ok. We like to add the juice made from the Saril to orange juice, ginger ale etc. It tastes a lot like cranberry juice.

The Saril is a medicinal plant used in Panama to decorate, especially during the Christmas holidays. However, few know that it is a plant that provides many different health benefits.
Also known as Flor de Jamaica (Hibiscus sabdarifa), it is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, which are responsible for the negative effects of free radicals on the body. Also, studies show that is scientifically proven to help combat certain tumor cells.
Among other benefits Saril are:
– Lowers high triglyceride levels.
– Reduce by up to 35% levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
– Helps maintain a good figure and help you lose weight: It is an excellent diuretic. His inflammatory properties contribute to weight loss and also help cleanse the body of toxins through the urine. Also an excellent choice for those who suffer from constipation because it causes bowel movements.
– Protects the cardiovascular system: Scientific studies found that reducing fatty deposits in the arteries.
– Regulates blood pressure.
– Regulates the production of insulin by the pancreas.
– Increases the body’s defenses.
– Provides relief from menstrual cramps
– Preventing hemorrhoids
– Reduces insomnia.
Naturists recommend the intake of a cup of tea a day Saril as a preventive measure. You can also drink cold, as if it were a refreshing drink.
However, as always, remember that if you have health problems, the most recommended is to visit your doctor
Go ahead and make yourself a drink.
If you want to start getting the benefits of this plant and do not know how, I leave then a simple recipe:
Ingredients:
• 1 liter of water
• 1 piece of cinnamon
• 1 cup flower Saril
• 1 cup strawberries
• Ice
Preparation:
• Boil water with cinnamon, until you feel your smell
• Blend strawberries with half a cup of water and add them to the water cuélalas with cinnamon.

info founded on SaludPanama.com

Hart Finca

When Mike and I first married, he always talked of owning a place in the mountains with a spring for water and enough land to farm. Little did we know this dream would be found in Panama.

The first week we stayed in Boquete was the start of our journey. We not only made some very good friends of the Vila Lorena owner but we also began the search for our home. After many failed attempts to find a house, our realtor asked if we thought about building. Having already built three houses, we really didn’t want to go that route. But we couldn’t find a house we liked. Not having any luck with the realtor we set out on our own to find some land and we found our paradise. Two and one/half hectares with banana, orange, lemon, mango, coconut and a grove of bamboo trees. There was also a spring. What else could we ask for?

Some pics of our finca today.

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Front of our house

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Luceto and Luceta

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Pineapple Mike planted.

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One of the hens decided to rest on top of the potato bin made from tires.

There is much more to see. A greenhouse, a casita, and of course all of our wonderful fruit trees. Pics are to come in another post.

Feliz año nuevo 2016

I have a bad habit of procrastinating. So my New Year’s resolution is to write in my blog at least once a week.  So here it goes.

Since the last post many things have happened. We finished building the house within a timely manner. We have made many new friends both gringos and Panamanians.  We now have Sandy, part bull dog/pit bull. We volunteer at the handicap foundation and Mike had started his taxi service. I will post pictures and stories of our adventures later.

NOW Feliz año nuevo. We have had many neighbors visit since our arrival on Dec 31. Mike knew what to say; I did not.  So, everyone has tried to teach me. Finally, It sunk in. Feliz-happy, ano-year, Nuevo-new.

ANOTHER RESOLUTION:learn some Spanish!

Feliz año nuevo-I’m getting there-to all of my Panamanian friends, U.S. Friends and family.  Love you all

Serpiente!! Serpiente!!!

HONK! HONK! HONK!! Taxi driver waving hands in the air and pointing to the back of our truck as he drives by, and then a white car drives up beside the truck, window rolled down, a woman yells, “Serpiente!”  Pointing to the back of the truck, “Serpiente!” Stopping the truck, Mike gets out and sure enough there is a snake on the tailgate of the truck. Ana screaming “It’s a snake” while Paco jumping out to help Mike shouting, “This is amazing!”  Mike gets some bamboo he has in the truck and knocks the snake off.  As Mike was trying to kill the snake, people start appearing but not getting close to the snake.  Most people were coming from the store we parked beside.  Evidently Panamanians are scared of snakes.

Blunt Head Vine Snake

Blunt Head Vine Snake

This happened today when we went into David.  Mike and I were going out to eat with Paco and Ana, our good friend Chao’s children.  Paco always gets us lost in David.  We were looking for the steakhouse when this episode with the snake happened.  But thanks to the snake, Ana was able to ask someone standing beside the truck how to get to the restaurant.

Never a dull moment with teenagers!

Friends

I have commented on how warm and welcoming the people are here in Panama.  One person in particular stands out to both of us.  His name is Luis, and he is one of our construction workers building the casa. Luis always has a smile on his face and is very pleased with himself when he has learned a new English word.  He always says “Very Good” and “Thank You” when we do anything for him.

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In the picture, Luis is working on a carving of a Quetzal.  His friend brought him a grinder he would need. We do not have Quetzals in our area, but Luis had once lived in an area where the Quetzals were found.  They are beautiful birds, and Luis said we needed a beautiful bird for our casa.

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During his free time (breaks and lunch), Luis usually works some on the Quetzal. He has also come on Sundays to carve and use the electricity for the dremel.

One morning before he started working he called Mike to the door and said, “Here for you.”  It was a candle holder he had carved.  

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Luis is a very talented person and an excellent worker.  He has also become one of our close friends.