Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Panama Day Seven

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Very White Night

Daybreak, early morning rising, and we are waking in the misty air to the sounds of a village stirring to their own start.  As we are wrapping up our bedding and organizing our packs we see children running about getting ready for school, no doubt.  We had just seen the village teacher leave his hut walking down the path…clean cut, laptop, briefcase, black pants, white shirt, tie; all pressed.  To all of us it seemed he may have been just as much at home walking on a street downtown Vancouver heading for work in one of the towers there.  Some of the children ran naked through the village square to use the shared shower, soon returning and then to be seen once again in their school uniform…black pants, white shirt, tie; all pressed. Sights of contradiction!

We laid out our gifts to the family on the table and made our way down the ladder to put on our shoes; shoes were always left at the bottom of the ladder before entering any hut.  All of our things were wrapped again in large plastic bags and we carried them down to the shelter of the church building, the feel of rain was heavy in the air.  We were served hot lemon grass tea as we waited for news of our piragua being ready to board.  In our line of vision, as we sipped tea was the roof line of the church building that the ladies had spoken of the night before; partly built, open steel rafters waiting for the sheet roofing.  Some of us walked over to see for ourselves how far the builders have come, what was left to be done, supplies that were on hand and what was still needed for this dream to be accomplished.  It was a big endeavour, where we appreciated the freedom and comfort of the thatched roof these people had a dream of sheet metal and cement…more contradiction.  But where contradiction was evident so was God’s hand, His call on these beautiful people… hopes and dreams.

The rain had already started and we pulled out our plastic ponchos, hats and umbrellas, this time to keep dry; the rain came down, hard, but still warm as we boarded and headed out on the river highway back to Yaviza. The rain didn’t last the whole river long and soon we found ourselves putting down the umbrellas as we chatted the time away and watched the river pass by.

Home again, Yaviza…sun shining, we showered, hung laundry, had coffee, shared our adventures with Deanne, who had stayed back with Colleen and the children; we heard hers, all peppered with worship in rest and love.

It was not long when the men traded their ponchos for machetes, saws and shovels; preparing the land for the big excavator that would come tomorrow, building the road in for Alan and Colleens new home.

Walking about the camp yard, watching the machetes disappear over the hill I noticed lunch…well, I didn’t know it was lunch.  I went down to take a photo thinking how great is this…a pet pig!  As I approached Einer, he explained to me that the pig would be killed; now, right there, on the spot, and would I be able to prepare some?  

Lunch; sweet plantain lightly fried, a salad of pineapple and cabbage and…Puerco.

When we arrived in Panama the Fosters told us that rain was never far away…yes true.  One more downpour today, Kalea running and dancing in the midst of it and me joining her; so fun, big drops, a shower from God and cooling us off after cooking the afternoon away in a hot kitchen...later her and I, swinging in the hammock, storm watching; God’s lovely dance, thunder cracking and lightening, bright white lighting up this small part of the world.

"What color is that Kalea?”  “Very white” she answered “God is making a very white night!”

Light in the darkness…

I love that.