Jen and I had bought an oferta (sort of like Panama's version of groupon) several months ago and were so excited to head to Chiriqui! It is seriously one of my favorite places in all of Panama - the weather is delightful (interpret: cold!), slow and quiet pace of life, farming country, mountains, rushing water, etc.
Our adventure began realizing that I am slowly losing my mind. On my way to pick up Jen, I realized I had forgotten my sweatshirt - the one reason it was here was for this trip. For real, Abby?
The forgotten list continued throughout the weekend.
Jen and I on our way to unknown adventures!
So thankful for such a sweet friend!
From the beginning, I felt this sense of Satan not wanting my hear to have peace and rest and down time. We started off the trip in prayer repeatedly and those thoughts of torment kept coming - "you forgot everything", "things at school won't go well and people will be upset"
Y'all - that is an accusing voice, not a voice of truth! Jen was so sweet in reminding me of believing truth as things kept coming up over the weekend.
Our first adventure was discovering the camera no longer worked 20 minutes past Jen's house. This was a HUGE disappointment! A few of the pictures are from the ipad and some from a little point and shoot camera that died a few hours into our trip. (Again, another one of those attempts from the Enemy to ruin the weekend).
At dinner, we prayed about the camera, went back to the room and it worked! The Lord is so sweet even in seemingly little things.
Because I had forgotten a long sleeved garment, we stopped in Aguadulce at the Importadora Americana. Y'all, this is like a Goodwill meets TJ Maxx. It is mostly new items (things with tags, in the boxes, etc) from the states that have ended up in the middle of no-where Panama. They had TONS of sweaters and coats, because you never know when you might need one in the tropics or when you will forget yours in the city.
This place also has FABULOUS, clean bathrooms! I highly recommend it as a pit stop too!
While in the Importadora, Jen and I found the largest pair of women's shoes I have ever seen in my life. We of course, had to take pictures.
They were a size 16, white patent shoes.
Y'all the average Panamanian women sized foot is probably a 5-6.
Need I repeat that this was a 16!!!!
I will not disclose Jen's shoe size on this blog, but it is in the double digits (Just barely) and look how tiny this shoe looks on her.
Truly, though, you never know when a sweet woman is going to need that shoe. Maybe it is sitting on that shelf waiting for the lady who needs it. If you are that person, there is a pair of shoes here in Panama in your size.
We continued on past Santiago and hit the long stretch to David. It is really only 2 1/2 hours, but it feels like much longer.
Just past David, we encountered the most dangerous part of our journey.
Along the side of the Pan-American Highway, there was a lady holding a red piece of fabric attached to a stick. (It is not uncommon to see people on the side of the highway selling things, biking, walking, etc). I totally thought she was selling parakeets.
She is waving it and Jen and I both wonder what she is selling. Within a few seconds, we see a herd of cows barreling into the highway. Yes, that's right, a HERD of cows followed by a cowboy.
We are literally within 15 feet of where they will cross, going the posted speed (approximately 65mph). Within 1.5 seconds the following thoughts race through my mind:
"There is no way on God's green earth that this car will stop that suddenly. If we don't make it past them in time, the car will be totaled and there will be SERIOUS injuries. They are headed straight for Jen's side. What are we going to do?"
So I took the only, what I thought, feasible option and hit the gas, praying my little 4-cynlinder car would take us past the barreling bovines before impeding impact. (Don't you love the alliteration???)
We made it within probably 12-18 inches. Scared the snot out of me!
Our hearts were racing, my hands were shaking, and we rejoiced repeatedly over the Lord's protection. Oh my lanta!
This is the kind of sign she needs to be waving if there are going to be cows crossing the road.
Let's just say on the way back, we looked more closely for red fabric on sticks. We saw a few and guess what they were indicating? Parakeets for sale!
We made it to Volcan, just before Cerro Punta. The landscape was so lovely and the sky was GORGEOUS that day! Incredible!!! We loved driving with the windows down and feeling very...refreshed!
We arrived at Casa Grande, checked in, received all of our vouchers as a part of our package, and went to our lovely room. Went on a fabulous walk, looked around at all of the facilities, checked out the spa where we would have massages the next day, and ate an incredible dinner (part of the package).
This was all in day 1! Whew! Crazy times! Just imagine what was to come...
As we drove into Chiriqui, we kept seeing the clouds blanketing the mountains. It kept reminding me of the way the Lord's love blankets and covers us. It was loveliness! It was such an incredible visual picture of how God's protection surrounds me, displays His glory and wonder, and shouts of His worthiness!
Psalm 105:39 - For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Until next time