That this newsletter comes to you this week is tribute to the dedication
of Linden Barrick. Linden is the person on my staff who puts the writings
and photos I send back from wherever I am into a readable form. On Friday
night Linden gave birth to Colton James, a brother for her daughter
Autumn. Thank you, Linden, for being back in action working from home
so soon. Words fail me. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank
you. You are a wonderful support.
Colton James Barrick.
I have been back in my early morning walk mode and have a lenten commitment
to keep it going. I get up as the first light comes into the sky and
set off to walk around town. There are few people around at that hour
and those that are greet me like a long time friend. Here in Bocas it
has been cold. I mean real cold. One night the temperature was in the
mid sixties and we needed a blanket. Attendance at church was way down.
Added to the cold weather there has been a flu passing around. So far
Malcolm and I have been spared. Only nine more days to go and maybe
we will make it back to Virginia without sickness.
By boat to dinner wearing a shower cap.
On the farm, Melania, the wife of one of the employees, fell sick with
malaria and we had to bring her to the hospital. She is doing OK now
but will be weak for a long while. There has been no malaria in Bocas
in recent years. Melania had come here two weeks ago from Santa Catalina,
a community seventy miles away along the coast.
We have had a week of entertainment. For ourselves we had the pleasure
of the company of Richard Paris, a journalist from London who is working
on an article for The Independent, one of Britain's national
daily newspapers. Richard, though twenty years younger than Malcolm,
had much the same upbringing and I was delighted that he felt totally
at home with us. An adventurer who, again like my husband, has lived
in India. The two are planning a visit there for next year. As of now,
I have not committed myself to travelling with them.
Saying farewell to the Newtons.
The other entertainment was the guests at two dinner parties. At the
Newtons, who hail from Vermont and own a cottage overlooking the water
and the sunset in Siagon at the West end of town, we feasted on clams
and linguine, which rates in my top five favorite dishes. It was a farewell
to the Newtons who, like migrating birds, leave the Caribbean each springtime
and fly North to the lakes of New England.
After church on Sunday, we crossed the bay from our house to have a
delicious curry meal with Lois and Ray Kennedy, who have a beautiful
home not far from our first Bocas house on the island of Carenero. These
two have a second home in Tennessee. Lois is one of my card playing
buddies and Ray is a veteran sailor with many single handed voyages
to his credit. Their hospitality lives up to the reputation of the South.
West Virginia painting in progress.
Now to work! This week my main focus has been on a painting symoblizing
what makes West Virginia one of the most attractive states in our nation.
Having lived in the Shenandoah Valley for forty years I have often taken
the road west over the mountains and into our neighboring state. I used
to take the kids tubing, a much loved outing, though six children bouncing
their way down a gushing river is not without drama. I have shown a
more peaceful stretch of river in this painting and have included mountian
bikers, kayakers and canoeists and the inevitable fisherman. I am far
from finished, so do not judge the painting yet.
In breaks from the West Virginia painting, I have put finishing touches
to another piece asking God's blessing on our home.
Work in progress: Bless Our Home.
We are starting to pack. I want to bring back my German bicycle. It
is my favorite bike but it is too special to take the hard knocks of
the potholes that crater our Bocas roads. You need a mountain bike down
here. Maybe I will get one for my birthday. Are you listening Malcolm?
Well that is it for now.
Hasta la proxima semana de mi ultima mensaje de Bocas por este
viaje. Until next week for my last message from Bocas for this
Carino de Pat.
Love from Pat.