Archive for October, 2013


Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

soleilbirth Steve and I left home on Oct.11, 2013 to head out again to Orlando (for work) and Daytona ( to see my dad) and then to Panama to await the birth of our grandaughter, Soleil Naomi Wilt. The princess took her sweet time as she was 9 days late, but appeared on the scene at 20″ and 8lbs 12 oz. We are watching big brother, Carson, while mom and dad have a couple days at the hospital to rest up for real life.

Lots of first impressions of Panama, but I know it’s not a complete picture yet as we are in the outskirts of town (Panama City) and not yet to the Wilt home-base in Santa Catalina, some 6 hours away in the jungle.

pararisaThat comes after we spend 10 days in a missionary compound where it is busy and we have been sequestered (my meaning=holed up) in two bedrooms. Our bedroom is about 8′ x 12′ with 4 bunk beds lining the walls with just enuff space to walk down the  middle. Mind you, that and a bathroom is it! We make our meals in the communal kitchen and retreat to the bedroom. The bunks do not allow for sitting without hitting ones head. It feels like you’re getting in a drawer to go to sleep. But it’s clean and free and it is what it is.

Now I guess my only complaint is there is NO HOT WATER. We clean with a lot of bleach but that shower can be awfully shocking. KC and Jono’s bedroom is next door with a double bed and one bunk set. We visit by sitting all around the double bed. Oh, they do have 3 folding chairs — the luxury suite.

It rains a whole bunch here in Panama, it’s a Jungle out there! But it’s not scattered showers, it’s a bucket thrown at you. The country is very green, but they are rather trashy; no litter laws. I guess they figure that something will grow over the mess eventually. The canal that bisects the country is a couple blocks away and the ships are huge! They are enlarging the canal to allow for even bigger ships. Lots of little tug boats scurrying around working 24/7.

But first impression: if you stare at it long enough, it will Rust, Mold, or become Overgrown.

Book of Kells

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Imagine a set of the Gospels, hand written in the 700’s a.d. and treasured and trashed in the subsequent years to finally arrive at Trinity College, Dublin for me to see!  The artistic and dedicated monks beautifully illustrated each gospel: Matthew as a writer, Mark as the lion, Luke as the calf, and John as the eagle. In the meticulous transcription sometimes a mistake would be made on the vellum at which time the chagrined monk drew a picture on top of it.  The colors are vivid and the painting is intense and meaningful. Just like viewing the Declaration of Independence, you know what you’ll see but it’s worth standing in line to be able to say you saw the real thing!  (sorry, no photos were allowed, but do google it!)

One in Every Barrel

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

thegroupThere’s always that tour group member who is rather obnoxious, loud, attention grabbing, and needs more than their share of the  spotlight. You can try  to ignore them but it’s better to try to befriend them ( you don’t want to get on their bad side!) I found if I made up a name for them that suited them, it would help me take them with a grain of salt. This trip we got to know “Cheezy” (because she was so ‘grating’) I asked our tour director, Sheila, how she handled this type, alluding to the person in  question.  She said she usually said the ‘Serenity Prayer” and with this person…4 or 5 times!

Waterford Crystal

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

waterfordWaterford, Royal Dalton, and Wedgewood are all names that have a century or more of heritage…and all going bankrupt before an investment group purchased and resuscitated them and gave them new life. Those are the times we live in.

At Waterford in Ireland, hundreds lost their jobs when they closed their doors in ’09; devastating the region by the same name. But they ‘reorganized, sent much of their work to Eastern Europe, and reopened as a slimmed down plant in Ireland. This is where they do the specialty items such as the Peoples’ Choice Awards, trophies, chandeliers and the Times Square Ball.  It’s a 7-10 year apprenticeship to become a crystal cutter and this fall they have 7 new apprentices hired; the first new employees in 5 years. And the crystal is so beautiful and alive with light!