Virginia and I just returned Wednesday afternoon from a five day trip to various districts in the interior of Panama to present a PowerPoint presentation we put together on temples and family history. The idea was to both motivate and instruct members in view of the upcoming (August 10th) dedication of the Panama Temple. Saturday we gave presentations in both Penonome and Chitre, spending the night in a hotel in Chitre. We attended church Sunday morning in Chitre and drove on to David, in the western end of the country, from where after checking into our hotel we drove on to Concepcion for an evening fireside. Monday we drove up over the mountains from David to Changuinola, in the far northwest corner of Panama. Most of the following pictures are from the Changuinola area--a more primitive and picturesque part of the country. All in all, things went great for us throughout the trip. We found Tuesday morning that we had a dead battery, having left an interior light on all night by accident, but fortunately we had our combination spare battery/air compressor aparatus with us, and after some initial bewilderment as to why it wouldn't jump start the car, we discovered the safety switch on it the car started back up immediately. This morning we got up to find neither water nor electricity in the hotel, but it wasn't a problem, as we were ready to head for home anyway. The following, with few exceptions, are some shots we got on our cell phone's camera, as I forgot our real camera that I had taken out of my briefcase so as to have it more accessible during the trip!
This first picture is from a week or two before the trip and shows Virginia descending dirt steps with a pair of sister missionaries to get to a member home. (Remember, you can enlarge any of these pictures by clicking on them.)
Main street in Changuinola, with our hotel on the right.
Dog riding on top of bus on the way to Changuinola.
Chapel in Changuinola--rented space in a commercial building.
Many homes in this area are built on stilts for some reason--to avoid the dampness? For ventilation? Because it's easier than putting down a foundation? The following are shots of more homes in the area. They are not all like this, but these are typical of homes in the countryside.
Lovely orange colored blossoms on the side of the road.
Banana plantation, of which there are many in this area.
Looking at the Atlantic Ocean. A couple of hours and 50 miles later, we were looking at the Pacific after driving back over the mountains.
One way bridge leading into Changuinola. One has to straddle rather high railroad tracks.
Monkey crossing sign?
Snake crossing sign?
Butterfly crossing sign? Maybe it's just to let people know it's a good area to see butterflies.
Waterfall in mountains.
Pretty white blossoms
Cashews on tree
Closeup of cashews
Yellow cashews--a different variety
Watermelon stand which we patronized on the way home
Come see us and we'll show you around!