Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hellos and Goodbyes

We had a picnic/barbecue at our Roca Milagro development site on Saturday. The Staff family, relatives of the man from whom we bought the property and who is now one of our partners, came from as far away as Panama City, a 6-hour drive from our location. Tables were set up in the orange grove, in the shade of a huge mango tree, and we ate (and ate and ate) delicious Panamanian food and the usual North American barbecue fare of hotdogs and hamburgers for those who were so inclined.

A couple of local Panamanian politicians attended, as did neighbours of our property, suppliers and assorted friends.

It was an emotional event for the Staff family. Parties and celebrations have been held on the property for decades. Now the property belongs to a development corporation and these events will have to be held elsewhere, right? No. Not on my watch. My partners and I have welcomed the Staff family to continue using the orange grove for their family events as long as they want to.

My partners and I owe a lot to the Staff family. From the very beginning, they have welcomed us into their homes. They have helped us in so many ways and I will always be grateful. Carmen, Monica, and all of the aunts and cousins and friends who worked so hard to create this memorable barbecue for the Roca Milagro corporation, thank you so much. When we build our own homes on the site, you will be as welcome there as we have been in yours.

The little gentleman shown in the photo at the top of this post is Jorge Staff, one-year-old son of Monica and grandson of Otto “Nacho” Staff. The photo below is of Alisson Staff, a granddaughter of Nacho. She is one of nine finalists of thousands of competitors in Canto Comigo, a Panamanian contest similar to American Idol. Good luck, Alisson!

I will have much more to write about Panama when I get back to Canada. Right now, time is at a premium.

Mark: That outbound email fix doesn’t work. It’s probably me, but I have followed all of the steps in your instructions. Honest. I will catch you up when I get back. I will also talk to you about Walk the Talk.


  1. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. I need to read the rest of your entries. I sure miss the visits to my mom's homeland. I have such fond memories. She was born in Panama City. Can't wait to hear more about your visit! Praying you have a safe journey back home...

  2. Are you coming back with a tan??

  3. Lady~g: Panama has changed so much, even in the short time (2005) since my first visit. You might not recognize it. Even with all the frustrations I encounter there, I love the place and its people.

    Phlegmfatale: Thanks! We'll ignore the fact that we are technically way behind and should be much further along. But . . . it is in the tropics and perhaps we should all simply adopt the maƱana attitude and chill out. Eventually, everything gets done.

    Jean: I am beet red. I burn to a crisp and look quite goofy, but I love it nevertheless. Eventually, the red turns to a tan.