Panama Time Coming To An End

Hi friends and family!

We have some news to share.  After two wonderful years in Panama, we are headed back to Colorado in just a few weeks.

We have multiple reasons for returning, but the first reason is that the project we had set out to accomplish – helping my brother get his greenhouses and farm going, is done! Mission accomplished! The farm has come along amazingly well and now has contracts with grocery store chains and the first stage is complete. Daniel’s farm is amazing and we expect it to do well and continue growing! He and his family are not going anywhere, they are committed to the farm and what God has called them to here.

The next stage for us personally, no matter what decision we make, points us back to Colorado. If we were to stay and build a farm for ourselves, we would still need to return to Colorado and sell our house. So whether we were to stay or go, we’d still have to go back. Right now, the future is not defined or sure, we’re just taking the next step.

It is going to be really hard to leave our family here in Boquete. That part we are trying not to think about too much! We love Dan and Tracy and Ariel and Danny so much and are so blessed to have been able to live close to them and work together with them for the past two years! Dan and Tracy are so obedient and are incredible risk takers for God. They are true visionaries and have a big vision. We are so blessed to get to say we were a part of getting it started. We love our family and are so proud of them and the sacrifices they have made (and are making constantly) to make this dream happen.

We will be back in Colorado Springs by the first week of June. For our friends in Panama, you really have become family and it is so sad to be leaving. We cherish the relationships we have gained here and are grateful for social media to stay in touch. Please know we are still residents and consider Panama another home. We know we will be back within 2 years for our Visa requirements too, at least to visit.

What we have learned about Panama is that it is a place where the opportunity to help people is prevalent. The poverty conditions are unlike the USA. I know we have the poor in the USA, but even the people living on the street have access to meals and shelter, and live better than the indigenous here. There is unlimited opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives here and we love that. When other people have to take the expense of a missions trip to help out in conditions like this, we are right down the road from it. That is something we will miss greatly. Our whole family has grown from the different outreaches we have been a part of. We are grateful for this past two years!

Thank you for following this journey. Even though we are “going back” to Colorado, we are not the same people we were when we came. We do consider this move, “moving forward.”   Thank you for following this journey if you have, we really appreciate you.

Merry Christmas from the Selvigs

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Panama is just as warm as ever and there is no chance of it snowing, so we are working hard to adjust to the idea that it is Christmas!

It’s been awhile since we’ve put out an update. I suppose that is good news in that we have settled into life and stay pretty busy. Erik (14), Caleb (10) and Josiah (6) just finished school this week. They were on a Panamanian school schedule this past year and Summer break happens now! The weather is drying out as we leave rainy season and enter dry/wind season. We’ll spend the next month going to the beach and doing fun water activities.

Normally they wouldn’t return to school until March but their private school here is switching to the American school schedule and so they will all be doing an accelerated school year starting in January and finishing in June.  They will then have the same Summer schedule as American kids and it will allow for longer vacations and possibly a long trip to the USA.

The farm is still being built. It’s a long and slow process but every day a little more gets done. Here are a few recent photos. We are planting some tomatoes and moringa as well as peppers.

 

We are a part of a very active little church here in Boquete. With about 40-50 people, we have weekly opportunities to be involved in outreaches to Ngobe tribal people, Panamanians, and African and Cuban refugees. It is a wonderful place to live because there are so many opportunities to really help less fortunate people in hands on ways.

 

We are proud of young Erik (14 years old) who was accepted into a Bible College here in Boquete and who just finished the 18 month long course. He was the youngest student ever accepted, most are in their 20’s or older. He did amazingly well, getting A’s and B’s on his tests. The director (Dan Salas) is really proud of him as are we. He is an amazing young man.

Here are a few fun photos of the boys. We like to go on little hikes when the weather is nice. Caleb also wanted his picture with the red snapper at the grocery store…

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This guy and I are doing well. He is such a hard worker and the guys at the farm really love him. He has learned “EspanFinca”, which is our joking way to say “farm language.” He can speak enough Spanish to talk to everyone about farm things (at the farm.)

We miss Colorado, our family and friends and church there of course… but we have settled in until the project is done and that could be years to go still. We could end up living here permanently, but that is not in stone. We are here for the long haul at this point.

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We love to hear from friends on Facebook and via email. Have a wonderful holiday! Here is one last picture for you that is kinda funny….

Love,
Erik, Wendy, Erik, Caleb and Josiah

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Panama August Update

Peppers, Peppers, Peppers! Well, the greenhouses have been coming along. We are putting up the last section of greenhouses this month. We do have one more section of land to put up about 1/3rd more greenhouses, but that is scheduled for later this year. The initial phase is about completed and it is very exciting.

Here are workers putting up the last greenhouse. One of the workers owns this dog (Chombro) and he comes to the farm every day and guards everyone.

Daniel and Erik have worked for so long now (about a year) and so hard at getting this operation under way. I’m so excited for my brother as his dream is coming to fruition. We are scheduled for a “first harvest”, which should be small, in about 2 weeks.   Here are some of the babies. Each plant is full of peppers, which is exciting!

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We have a little test garden and have been testing all different varieties of peppers.

From jalapenos to Carolina Reapers (the hottest pepper in the world!), we are seeing how they grow. Here is a little baby harvest for our table. The boys are having hot pepper eating contests, though nobody is allowed to touch a Carolina Reaper. We’ve had lots of fun with watching them down a jug of milk after eating raw hot peppers!

Test Peppers August 2016

Eggplant do really well at our farm too. We have a deal… Dan brings home eggplant and I fry it up in coconut oil. Seriously, we could eat this every day!

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The boys are doing well. They are settled in their school and have made some friends. It has been such a blessing to live next door to my brother and his family. It has taken the sting out of moving to a new country and feeling very lonely. We’ve definitely experienced culture shock but I think we are starting to move out of it a bit. We are finding our new normals and pushing forward!

We are working with a pepper farmer who has contracts with the grocery stores in Panama. He is going to be buying our peppers to start with.

We do truly miss our family and friends from home. Wish we could teleport often to see you. We think of you often and are grateful for the contact we have through social media. Thanks for keeping up with us!

Love, Erik and Wendy (& the boys)

Erik and Wendy

 

 

 

 

Colorado Springs and Panama – 1 year anniversary!

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{Wildflowers in the Black Forest outside Erik’s parents’ home}

Greetings family and friends!!!  I’m (Wendy) writing this blog update from my father and mother-in-law’s home in Colorado Springs. Tomorrow, the boys and I head back to Panama after a 3 week vacation to the USA. July 1st, 2015 was the date we moved to Panama and here it is a year later!

So much has happened in the past year, yet we are still at the beginning of our farm project and the other things we are involved in. It’s a good indication we will be there long term. But I have to say, being in Colorado was sooooo good for our souls! I know Panama is supposed to be “home” but I have to let you know, Colorado is still my place. Nothing beats the pine trees, fresh dry cold air, and the mountain views. It has been such a blessing to be be back. I feel refreshed and rested and now am ready to head back to Panama where lots of work awaits us.

Here are a few photos from our recent trip which took us to Utah, Kansas and Colorado:

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So speaking of Panama, 1/3rd of the farm is now finished and we just planted 10,000 baby pepper plants this week! It’s a big milestone for us! Here is a video update from my brother that will show you what it looks like inside the greenhouse:

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO UPDATE

And here are a few pictures taken this week:

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The workers are building the second section right now and we hope to have the third up and finished by Christmas. The heart of this project, after paying the bills, is to feed orphans and widows and to teach others how to build greenhouses in impoverished nations. We are working with Billion Soul Network and will be doing some training videos as well as bringing in individual pastors from countries like India, to show them how to build a greenhouse in their own community and provide food for their people. It’s an exciting project! This greenhouse project (1 hectare, 2.5 acres) is the pilot project. The next project (after this one is finished) is another 15 acres under greenhouse. So as you see, we will probably be here for a long time. There is much to do!

I have been involved with refugee work at the Costa Rica/Panama border and can’t wait to get back to that. There have been some changes since I have been gone with the camps and principally, the one I go to is being moved. So I need to get back and reconnect and find out how we can serve the best. While I was in the USA at the Young Living National Convention in Utah, the Young Living Foundation had heard about the refugee work I was doing and donated about $800 worth of essential oils for me to take back and use for the refugees. They gave me Thieves oil (supports the immune system incredibly), Lavender (supports healthy skin), Peppermint (supports digestive system), and Frankincense (a very valuable oil that supports healthy cell duplication). So thank you very much to Young Living for that awesome donation!!!

Three weeks in the States has been fabulous. It has been so nice to catch up with many friends and family members. We missed seeing Erik’s dad as he was already in Vermont for the Summer (We miss you Dad!), and there were a few people we weren’t able to connect with. Thanks to everyone who made time in their schedule for us and please keep in touch through Facebook and email this year. We send our love!

 

 

 

 

 

April 2016 Panama Update

Hello there! I had several people mention the updates this week (or lack thereof), and so I thought I’d better get one out. Life is really starting to pick up pace and fly by. I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I gave an update. I am really excited to share this month about some new and exciting things going on.

Here is a fun photo. What am I doing with the Chief of Police at the Costa Rica border?

Wendy&HeffeWell, we are smiling in the photo, so that means I’m not in trouble. 🙂

Last week Erik and I found out there are 5000+ Cuban refugees and maybe 1000 African (from East/North Africa) refugees at the Panama/Costa Rican border. I struggle at times with the idea of people trying to come to a new country illegally, but realize that these people are coming from corrupt and at times inhumane governments and they don’t even have an opportunity to come legally. So I do have compassion for them. Especially for the kids I see in the group.

Here is the reality of the situation. We have 6000 people here who ultimately are trying to get to the USA. Nicaragua shut their borders so Costa Rica shut their borders, so they are not allowed to go anywhere right now. They are stuck. Whether you believe in open or closed borders, here is the truth. These 6000 people are going to go somewhere. It may be ultimately the USA. It may be here in Panama. It may be that they are sent back to Cuba and Africa. Wouldn’t it be great if these people had someone reach out with compassion to them, show them kindness, and offer them hope in Jesus? Wouldn’t it be great if they have been shown mercy, grace, dignity and a smile so that wherever they end up, they have not lost faith in humanity? These people are in a really hard place. It took the Africans 3 months by boat to get here. They have been in this refugee camp now since last Thanksgiving. They are frustrated and not seeing any progress. They are in limbo until the government decides what to do for them.

Several days after I heard about them, I felt that nudging in my heart that I have learned is the Holy Spirit trying to get my attention. I stopped and journaled what I felt the Lord was saying and He was telling me to go to the border and check out the refugee situation and that He would give me the plans as we go. I hope this doesn’t sound too forward for those of you who don’t know God this way. But my journey in life has been about learning to hear His voice. And I’m certain of it now when I hear Him.

For a few days after this I could not get this out of my mind and felt an urgency that we are supposed to help with this effort. I decided to plan a trip to the border.

My friend Vicki, who has hosted many YWAM teams and is a real go-getter offered to come along on this trip. She brought two more friends, Dora and Lana, and the four of us prayed for open doors and divine connections.

As we got to the border, we found a crazy no-man’s land type of area. A town is there between the check in/check out buildings of the two countries. There are stores and restaurants, cars and lots of people. This is considered a free zone and when you are there, you are neither in Panama, nor Costa Rica. And this is where the refugees live when they first get to Panama. Oh, and it’s hot. Very hot.

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Here are a few photos from my phone. There are about 500 African refugees currently at the border. And they are stuck, frustrated and angry. The Cubans are in another camp and several thousand have been moved to a town not far from where we live in Boquete. We look forward to working with them soon as well.

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When we got to the refugee camp, we immediately met a journalist there who spoke English. He told us that our timing was impeccable (prayers answered for divine appointments) and that the head of the Red Cross had just gotten there and so did the Chief of Police. He was able to introduce us and interpret for us (provision!).

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The Red Cross gave us permission to bring aid in and work with them to help in areas of food and clothing distribution. They told us who to talk to and how to do it in an organized way.

Then we introduced ourselves to the Police Chief who said, “Glory to God and thank you that you would take the initiative to bring ministry and the Word of God to these people!” He said that their spirits are so low that they need us to come in and help with this. He gave us permission (and the directions of how to do it orderly) to come and bring ministry teams and our worship band and movies and whatever we wanted to do to help in this way.

So, our church and some elders from other churches in town are coming together to work in a united effort to offer help to these people. We actually have quite a few who have expressed interest in helping. I’m so excited to be a part of it. We are headed up tomorrow with food for 500 people and the movie Cross and Switch Blade. We have permission from the police to use their electricity and I’m taking my keyboard to play. This is just the first of many upcoming times. OH.. and these Africans speak French. Yep, good thing I took 2 years in high school! I’m trying to brush up on it quickly because we want to do the worship music in French if possible.

There are of course more details that I don’t have time to put in this update, so those of you interested in coming and being a part please message or email me privately. I don’t want to go on and on for people who aren’t detail people. 🙂

We will go and minister no matter if we have everything we need or not, but it sure would be easier if we had a few items that we are short on. Here is a CROWDRISE link if you are interested in donating. No pressure if not. We are so grateful for every dollar given, I know in this economy every gift is a sacrifice!

At the refugee camp, this is where the showers are. This foundation might make a great stage for a worship service. We will see! We will have to bring in a generator to provide electricity as well.

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So….

In regards to the farm, things are going great. They are going slower than we wish but I think we are just impatient for results.This is an ariel view of 4 sections of  greenhouse that are up. Since the photo was taken this is nearly all covered in plastic now. At the bottom of the photo you can see a guy sitting on the roof working on plastic. That will help you figure out scale.

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Erik and my brother Daniel work very hard out in the sun each day. I’m amazed at how they stick with it and keep going day by day. This will undoubtedly be a time of life they remember forever. They know how to build greenhouses now however and have already been contacted for contract work in other places to help others build theirs! We are more excited for the days ahead where we can share pictures of vegetables growing in those greenhouses though!

The kids are doing great and all going to an American school here. They are making friends, learning Spanish and adjusting to life. We all miss friends and family terribly though and are looking at coming to Colorado in June possibly.

This is getting long, I had better wrap it up. Thank you for your interest and please drop us a line via email! We love getting emails from people and hearing about YOUR lives as well!!

 

Erik, Wendy and the boys

February in Panama

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Hello friends and family,

Thank you for sticking with us this long and reading my updates on life here in Panama! It is now February and somehow I missed December and January for blog updates. Sorry about that! Christmas was really strange. It never felt like the holidays here. Even though we had friends visit and a Christmas tree and the works, the 75 degree weather just really made it difficult to believe that it was actually Christmas!

We had Ryan, one of our Chinese exchange students from two years ago come visit for Christmas. He brought a few friends. It was fun!

Erik got a chance to go back to Colorado for a few days in December to see family and take care of our house (we rented it out).  He was able to go to the APEX Christmas party and see friends and family. That trip was really good for his soul. He got a chance to be a part of the annual “Chinese Auction” our family does every year and see his sister Meagan who had flown in the same week. Connecting with family is so good!

Selvig Family 2015 December

So now that the holidays are over, things are starting to come together on the greenhouses.

They crew is currently working on putting up greenhouse #4. When it is up, they will wrap what they have in plastic and start growing. Then, they will continue building another 10-11 structures on the property.

PHOTOS: Greenhouse construction going up!

 

I am still working for my brother with Aids Research and Assistance plus my Young Living business is continuing to grow. When I’m not working, I am trying to discover all of the beaches within a 2 hour drive from my house. I have found three fantastic beaches to go to now, so when anyone comes to visit we can DO THE BEACH!

I have a separate blog that I’m writing for my Young Living business. Here is a post on the best beach of all. You have to take a water taxi (boat) to get there but it is an island. It is a fantastic getaway!  http://oilytraveler.org/2016/01/04/hidden-jewel-the-islands-off-boca-chica-panama/

 

 

It is Dry Season right now and isn’t expected to rain until April. For some reason, the critters come out during this time and we have seen all kinds of spiders and scorpions. The snakes are out as well. I’m glad not to have seen them in our house but they did find one at the farm. The Fer-de-Lance is the famous venemous snake around here. He is vicious and aggressive and jumps at you. (I know… you want to come visit, right?)

My mom is doing OK. She had a relapse last week where she couldn’t sit up without passing out. We have had the doctor out for a house call (yes, they do that here and cheaply!) and the lab technician came to our house to get blood and do a test. We think she caught a virus and it just set her back. She is back up on her feet today, so that is marvelous news!

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We have a second cat now and it is mom’s baby. We found this black and white kitten at just a few weeks old and have been babying it and feeding it with a baby bottle. “Soxy” loves my mom and sleeps with her every night. He’s a cutie! Frankie has adjusted and is enjoying playing with the new kitten.

Caleb and Josiah start school March 1st here in Panama. There is an American and fully credited school that they are going to go to. Erik is continuing to do home school. He is so smart and able to handle his schoolwork very well. He spends 2 days a week helping his dad and Uncle Dan at the farm. It’s HARD work but soooo good for him.

Well, thanks for listening and being interested in our lives. We love and miss everyone in the USA!

Wendy (& Erik) Selvig

 

 

 

 

 

November Update 2015

Hi family and friends! It’s time to send an update! I so appreciate you caring enough to read about our lives and what is going on in Panama. I cannot believe that we have been here 5 months already!

This month we have had a very busy month. I thought it would be best to tell the story mostly in pictures, so I will show some pictures and explain what is going on in them.

Just yesterday, Elliott Haggard left us. He is a good friend and has been here visiting over the past week. He unfortunately was here during rainy season, so our activities were pretty limited. Erik found a few fun things to do with him however. Ziplining through the Jungle Canopy was one of them…

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The week before Elliott visited, Erik’s brother Brian visited! We have been so blessed this month to have friends and family come!

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Brian and Caleb and I went to David, Panama one day to do some shopping. We came out from a store and there was transmission fluid all over the ground under my car. We found a leak in the special radiator that is just for the transmission in this car… so Brian took it off, we hailed a cab and went to an automotive place that then told us how to get to a special radiator place. THIS was a true Panamanian experience. It was as Brian put it, “photo worthy.”

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This would be the shop’s cock fighting rooster…

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That’s a gasoline tank on the wall… pretty sure you wouldn’t see that in the States. 😉

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I love this picture. I am not sure why, but I really do. The funny thing is that this is a beam that is holding up a metal roof that is falling in. Notice that there isn’t a wood beam that goes all the way to the floor… It’s being held up by the upside down metal basin. And why not leave your shoes there?

Here is Caleb and I documenting the hot and sweaty day sitting in the parking lot, thankful that Uncle Brian is with us fixing our car.

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And then, a few days before Brian came, I made the trip to the USA and back. This time, my mom came with me. After 4 months of being in and out of hospitals with vertigo, she has healed enough to come with us here.

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Daniel and Erik keep working on the greenhouse. They have totally rerouted the water that went through their farm around the outside now. They have also gotten a container to the property (down a horrible mud road with a semi and a backhoe!). The container is necessary to keep all their equiptment safe. They also have the first structure up, which is the seed hut. The seedlings will be growing in here sometime soon!

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Seed Hut

And as far as I go, I’m doing well. I am involved leading worship at my church and this month helped with a large Christian women’s conference. This is my friend Romsey. She is an amazing woman. I’ve had back problems for over 10 years because of a fracture that grew back wrong. This woman knows how to pray. She prayed for me and the Lord healed my back. I’ve been pain free for a month now and am so excited! The glory belongs to God!

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As far as the kids go… they are doing great. They really miss their Colorado cousins and friends but otherwise are adjusting well. I love that sometimes they get to go with dad to the farm to “help.”

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Yep, that one is pretty dang cute, if I do say so myself.

So Thanksgiving is coming up this next week. There is a large gathering here of Americans that will be getting together to celebrate. It won’t be the same, especially when the temperature is in the ’70’s.

Erik is headed back to the USA in December, so keep your eyes open for him the week of the 10th-16th.

And finally, if you have lasted this long…. well God bless you. There is a really neat place here in Boquete, Panama that offers an after-school program to Ngobe Indian children. These children are truly poor and many often don’t go to school (which is free) because they can’t afford the uniform ($15) and a backpack ($20) which are the things they need to be able to go. This place is called “Casa Esperanza” and they currently help 300 children with their uniform and backpack costs to go to school. They also provide a place for them to come after school, which TRULY keeps them out of child labor situations. And finally, they provide 1 hot meal to these kids every single day. We have really fallen in love with this ministry and want to help. It is the time of year to start collecting $ for the next school year. These 300 kids need uniforms and backpacks for when school starts this upcoming February.

I started a fundraising page to see if we can raise some money to help with the uniforms and backpacks. Is this a project you or your children could get involved with? I know first hand that this is a worthy organization and the money will go straight to purchasing these items – no administrative costs or anything.  You could even sponsor a child as a gift to someone who has everything, for Christmas!  Anyway, if you are interested, here is the link to give: https://www.crowdrise.com/backpacksforngobeind/fundraiser/wendyselvig

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Thanks again for reading our update! We’d love to hear from you!

Erik, Wendy, Erik, Caleb and Josiah Selvig

October 2015 Selvig Panama Update

Hi friends and family!

It’s a few minutes till midnight on October 31st! I’m at least still in the month of October getting this out! 🙂 This has been a busy month and I wanted to send a quick update.

If we could ask for your prayers, please pray that our house will sell in Colorado Springs! Making two house payments each month is not fun and adds unnecessary stress. We need it to sell for many reasons. Thank you for your prayers!

Erik and Daniel have been continuing to work and prepare the land for the greenhouses. Just a few days ago they started putting up the framing for the first building. Here are a few pictures:

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greenhouse 6

greenhouse 1

So speaking of farming and learning how to farm, I was very blessed to be flown out to the Young Living Lavender Farm in Mona, Utah last week for a YL Silver Retreat (all expenses paid!).  This was for reaching the Silver rank in YL. This was so special to me for so many reasons. I was amazed to see how quality comes before profits with this company. It was also cool to experience their Seed to Seal process and see the greenhouses, distillery and finished oils. Here are a few pictures:

Wendy YL Farm

This is just me hanging out with some cute ponies…

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I got to sort material to get seed for next year’s harvest

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This is an airplane view of the lavender fields right before the harvest.

It was an awesome time and I’m so blessed to have been able to go. On the way home, I got to run over to Colorado Springs for a few days and catch up with some family and a few friends. It was so good for my heart to see people!

Then, on the way home, my mom (Carrie Daves) met up with me and flew back to Panama to live with us! She has finally made it here and is settling in! So, it’s been a big month! Thanks for keeping up with us! We love and miss everyone back in Colorado and in the USA!

Carrie Daves

September Update

It’s October 2nd and I’m getting out the “September” update. And though it is tempting to post all of the wonderful things about Panama and share just the good things, I want to share the good and bad. Because I hope, we are real. And, everyone says things to me like, “it’s so gorgeous there, it must be wonderful!”

And it is.

And it isn’t.

But the “isn’t” is OK, because we are adjusting to a new culture, a new land and nobody expects it to be wonderful all the time.

So here are a few of the less than wonderful things….

  1. We miss our family.
  2. We miss our friends.
  3. We miss our church.
  4. We miss hearing English in passing conversations and just generally being able to communicate well with the locals.
  5. We miss real pizza. And Chinese food. And Velveeta cheese. And hamburgers from cows that have been fed gmo wheat (just kidding.)
  6. I still don’t have a washer and a dryer and that gets to me sometimes. However, I have found a Panamanian woman who will do my whole family’s clothes for the week for $20. I don’t like spending the money but sometimes I think it is the best $20 spent… Ever.
  7. We still don’t have a few things like a sofa, that would make life more livable. These will come in time… we just couldn’t bring ours with us! It just gets frustrating sometimes starting over when you were pretty well established back in the States.

So, it’s easy to say that we miss previous relationships and have plenty of times where we feel lonely. But we are developing some new friends and some new relationships. There is a community of Americans here that is a little unnerving. People are actually pouring into our little town because they believe that things are getting dark for the USA and that they are safer outside of the USA than in it. I’m not sure what to think. I see many of their points, but we didn’t move here to escape anything. We came with different things in mind, but are curious at the amount of people from different places in the world who have told us they felt led to leave and come here. So we are running into quite a few people who have just moved here as well.

Here are some of the more wonderful things about living in Panama:

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Erik and my brother Daniel go out to the farm property every day and have been overseeing the work to get the greenhouses up and going. The community around the farm has local children that like to hang out. Here is a photo of Erik with some of them.

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This month they have been rerouting the natural creek that flows through the property and working on a cement lined path to send the water around the edges of the property in which they’ll be able to use the water for the greenhouses.

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The locals in the community are being given jobs to work on the project and they are all excited and for us. By law, we have to come in and give them jobs instead of doing the work ourselves, so Erik and Daniel are managing the projects and making sure they get done with quality.

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Here is a field where they have planted carrots. The little red dot in the photo is a worker (far away) planting carrot seeds.

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This is a natural area that the community kids swim in. It’s close to the property. It really is beautiful!

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This is us waiting for a line of about 20 cows to go by so we can go get into our car.

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We don’t have time to go too often but we are about an hour away from the beach! This is affectionately called “Shark Beach” because 10 foot long Reef Sharks are often spotted in the shallows. And, the undertow is so strong here it isn’t safe to swim. So, not a lot of point coming here except that its fun to go in up to your ankles and it is quite beautiful!

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Now I want to brag about my oldest son Erik. He has grown so much in so many ways just in the short time we have been here. First of all he has physically grown at least an inch and maybe close to two in the 3 months we have been here. When he left the USA he was being stubborn and told us he wasn’t going to learn Spanish. Well…

He has learned more Spanish than any of us and just the other day I snapped a photo of him at Costco because he offered to go order our big order of food all by himself in Spanish! He ordered Papas Fritas (French Fries), Combonacion Platter (combo platter), un chicken bake and more. I was so proud. He was braver than he has ever shown before in speaking Spanish!

I have to admit this is one of the things I LOVE LOVE LOVE the most about being here. I love that the boys are learning a second language and they are REALLY learning it. It makes my heart so happy because it’s a gift I believe they will use for the rest of their lives in this world that continually gets smaller and smaller.

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And these two? They are doing just fine. We found a toy store last week that has cheap Legos. They are in heaven! But most of all, they are getting along better than ever before and I love that they have each other and get to conquer this new culture together.

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Here’s my brother Daniel and his “funny hat” hanging with Josiah at the farm. It’s been so wonderful living close to him and his family. It has made the move here much easier in many ways.

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Here is my almost 20 year old niece Ariel. It’s been so great getting to spend time with her and getting to know her better as well. Her brother Danny and her mother Tracy are also very dear to our hearts (just no recent photos to show)…

So things are good. They are progressing. We miss our friends and family terribly but are at peace with being here for now. Thank you for your prayers and interest in our journey! Please send us an email if you get a chance to say “hi”. We’ll read it out loud together and love and miss you, I promise! 🙂

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