I started off quoting Mark 12:31 from the NIV "The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these." Love your neighbor as yourself is a really strong message. Most of the human race might think they do this on a daily basis, but in reality it is probably the hardest thing to do. The reason I quoted Mark was because, during Monday and Tuesday of last week, which was September 2nd and 3rd, I gathered some of the youth from St. Mathews to paint a mural. Below are some of the pictures that show a working progress of the mural.
|The boys getting the hands painted|
|Rev. Glenda putting on the last hand|
|Rachel trying to reach the M.|
|Shevell fixing the letters|
After we were finished with the mural, Glenda and I took the youth to the Amador Causeway or the Calzada de Amador. This is a causeway that stretches from the south side of the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean. In length it is about three kilometers. There is a sidewalk to ride bikes on the causeway. We took two bikes that held four people and started biking. Below are some pictures of the cause way.
|This is the route going back to the city.|
|There is a storm coming.|
|We rested and I love how I captured this picture.|
|Just riding by.|
On Wednesday and Thursday, Rachel and I had an experience that led us to the beach which is called Playa Coronado. It is about an hour away from the city and you can by a bus ticket for about 2 dollars. This was a relaxing time because there was hardly anyone on the beach and it took away from all the craziness from the city. I would like to note that I ate Mexican food at the beach, and it felt like home.
|Salt and Pepper sand. Black sand is due to a volcano that erupted.|
|Like I said, hardly anyone on the beach.|
|My love for Mexican food. I really love my Hispanic culture.|
On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the Episcopal Church of Panama had a camp called Expresate. It was a camp dedicated to the youth on knowing how to express their love to God. Whether through theater, dancing, singing, or playing an instrument, the children were told that expressing your love to God is something that can never be expressed too much. This camp was in Santa Clara which is about an hour and a half away from the city. Below are some pictures of what was a awesome time before I started teaching for the semester.
|We have crazy laughs. They tell me that I have a Panama laugh.|
|Participants in doing Theater.|
|Participants playing musical instruments.|
|The camp was near the beach and they let the youth go.|
|Took this photo because of the Island in the back|
|Part of the chapel|
|Dedicated to Bishop Shirley back in 1989.|
|The front view of St. Clare's Chapel|
|The view of the alter.|
I would like to end on this note: Expresate is something that I just did right now. I expressed my whole adventure through pictures and capturing the moment. I titled this post Expresate because this week showed me that I need to embrace my Hispanic culture. As most of you know, I did not truly embrace my culture when I was back in the states. I had my heart opened up over this past weekend and finally understood why it is important to express yourself.
We had Eucharist on Sunday, and all the Spanish hymns were eye-opening to me. It made me feel like Panama was "home," and now I can truly be proud of being Mexican and not hide from it. It is something that I have struggled with for a long time back in the states, and even tried to run from it. I know that God has been showing me that when I embrace myself to my full potential, I feel more connected to God. Expressing myself is something that I work on everyday and knowing that God loves me when I express myself to my full potential is an amazing experience inside and out.