Saturday, December 17, 2016

On the road from Panama 11/19/2016 -12/10/16

Dear Friends,

Peace Rider the erratic blogger is back after a considerable absence.  I was in Cuba for a couple of weeks visiting friends and left a few days before Fidel Castro passed at age 90.  From Havana I flew to Panama City for a visit with long time friend George in Boquete, a mountain community in western Panama.  

Finca Bugita, as George calls it, is a coffee farm he bought some years ago when the prices were not out of sight for mere mortals.  I have always loved coming here, because it's quiet and peaceful and just the kind of retreat I needed to rest with the question of what comes next.  The many flowers in bloom were gorgeous.
Georges Rock garden w/blue grey tanagers feeding on bananas

I stayed in the "casita" a small one room guest house apart from the main house.  Every morning at sunrise or thereabouts I'd be up, do some yoga, or wait until after breakfast, then head up the steep drive to join George on his porch for coffee, conversation and bird watching.  Often when I showed up he'd be hanging bananas on bamboo poles stuck in his circular rock garden.  This was followed by hand scattering broken pieces of rice for some the ground feeders like tortolitos or small doves.  Then we'd just sit back and enjoy.  

Palm Tanager
Usually the same customers or "rabid beasts" as George calls them,  showed up for the feast, mostly colorful tanagers, the blue gray or azulejos being the most common.  They are a skittish lot for good reason.   Sometimes it was a gaijote or vulture flying too close, or gavilon (hawk) in the neighbor hood looking for a meal or just one of us making a too sudden move.   

As it happened I needed a lot more dental work than expected which meant multiple trips to the dentist in David, an hour away by bus.  More than I would have liked.  But the last week I was free and had more time to visit and be present in silence.  

What I came away with was an answer to the question friends have asked about what I will do with my Spirit House/yurt (progress to date on last post).  I will try and finish it in the coming year and in the process create the Fairbanks Interfaith Retreat Center,  this in part supporting, some of the work being undertaken by the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition but not limited to that.  This will require some fundraising.  I'll have more to say about the later when I'm settle back into Fairbanks and have a bit more time.

This evening I'm away from Denver headed to Los Angeles to catch a "red eye" to Anchorage then Fairbanks.

Catch you all down the road,

Peace Rider Don  


  1. This is really a beautiful retreat! I wish you had added some photographs from your Cuba sojourn. Loved this idea of putting up bananas on the bamboo and then watching these beautiful birds enjoying their meal.
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  2. What a great post. I’m really like it! Very, very dgdeeac good!

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