We are in the midst of orientation for the Panama Project. I didn't bring a camera with me yesterday because it was going to be an uneventful day of watching videos on the history of Panama. However, while we were watching videos we heard some loud explosions outside, followed by police sirens. Then more explosions. Walter Smith went out to see what was going on while I continued the conversation. One of the participants asked if the sounds we heard were cars backfiring. I said, "No, it sounds like tear-gas cannons. Perhaps the students of the Instituto Nacional were outside protesting like they do. Want to go see?" Everyone agreed. So out we went and, dang, if the students of Instituto Nacional weren't outside fighting the police. Tear gas was on the wind, and soon our eyes were tearing. Apparently a tear-gas canister misfired and went into the window of an apartment across the street and the place was on fire. People were on the street yelling and pouring out of the apartment building while the police continued to fire tear gas at the students and they continued to fight back with rocks. Soon the wind changed and the tear gas really got to us, so we had to go back inside. As we say here, "Welcome to Panama!" And exciting first day of work for the Panama Project, but no camera with PAdre, entonces, no photos of the excitement; ¡Qué Lastima! The group came over to La Rectoría for dinner; the Lovely Mona prepared a wonderful salad and I made langostinos in a Salsa Caríbe with rice. For dessert we had the Lovely Mona's ice cream; it's frozen bananas whipped in the food processor. Perfect for the lactose intolerant, as there is no milk, just bananas. It's cold and sweet, just like ice cream.
Today we watched another video on the history of Panama (Panama Deception) to help put things in perspective. Then we went to La Chorrera to visit Iglesia San José and Instituto Episcopal San José. We also visited Iglesia El Buen Pastor. Then we returned to Panama City and reflected upon the video. After dinner we had compline. Tomorrow we will visit Parroquia San Cristóbal, Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, y Panamá Viejo (the ruins of the original Panama City) and possibly Casco Viejo.
Today's photos follow. As always, click on the photo for a more detailed version
Computer lab at the school next to Iglesia San José (NOT Instituto San José). It seems that the kids here don't only learn HOW to use a computer, but HOW a computer works!
Iglesia El Buen Pastor (Good Shepherd Church)
This church is located in a semi-rural area named El Progresso which is suddenly growing. When I first visited this church in 1998 it didn't even have walls.
DUDE! Yer gonna wanna click on this one!
Okay, is this picture strange? Well, not if you're some kinda Mystical Roman Catholic (sorry Fran), but this is not a very Anglican picture, is it? Lambs and Monstrances on the altar with little bodiless angel heads floating about, puhLEEZE! It was on the bulletin board at El Buen Pastor.
Okay, hasta mañana con más fótos.