Saturday, October 31, 2015

Estamos aquí

Stuff I like about being in Panama so far that actually has to do with Panama...

1) The sound of marching bands practicing in the distance. All the time. But I have never SEEN a marching band here. 

2) A one-off Zumba practice in the Parque Central with gringos, indigenas, and panameños alike all gawking on a Sunday morning.

3) The downpours of rain each day.

4) When you stop to think about the canal, it's mind-blowing:

5) An improvised horse stall in the bed of an old pickup truck.

6) The processions of leafcutter ants bearing small flowers and sail-like portions of leaves aloft.  

7) EVERYBODY uses taxis here-- it feels super fancy. And school buses are regular buses while vans called "colegiales" function as school buses. Initially confusing.

8) Paso Fino horses (a.k.a. criollos) are a big deal in Panama. The original power walkers, they are naturals at what's got to be one of the most energy intensive ways to cover ground. 

9) The insects that wake us up each morning by making a sound akin to a cabasa.

10) The fruit truck that trawls the neighborhood each week calling out via megaphone, "¡Bananas, papayas, maracujas! ¡Fresas frescas!"

11) Kindness. A lot of kindness.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fuckitty Fuck Fuck

An article that features the word, "fuck" 127 times AND actually has something valuable to say? 


An article that introduces me to this showstopper of a photo (which I incidentally want to frame and hang over my marriage bed)? 

Fuck yes AGAIN!

Winning, Mark Manson. You are winning. You won. All others loose. Except if they recognize that you've won. That's it. That's all I have. All the fucks I have to give. There they are.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Immigrants Then and Now

These photos were taken by a clerk at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1925. I am amazed that in one hundred years globalization has wiped out ethnic dress in so many cultures. 

Looking at these people who were once considered a scourge and have become our nation's pride, I think about the current refugee crisis and marvel that so many of us, having sought refuge ourselves or having benefitted from the asylum our ancestors received, deny those classified as "others" the same solace.  

I think about how, in a world of 7.4 billion people, immigrant numbers are going to continue to rise as climate change yields extreme weather events and increased pressure on limited resources. 

"The global age has turned our world into a society of strangers. That is not a threat to faith but a call to a faith larger and more demanding... The Bible commands us only once to love our neighbor, but it never tires of urging us to love the stranger." Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

I wonder what is in store for us (and by us, I mean all of us). 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Animal Kingdom

I grew up on Wild America and Nature specials so imagine my delight when I learned that the torch of wildlife education still burns bright and has been passed on to the likes of Beast Boy and Ze Frank

Other species you may or may not be familiar with...