When leaving home I kissed Bev good-bye but also had to say farewell to the wonderful couples who stayed with us for the Pastor's Development Program: Vivien and Cathy Botha and Brennan and Michala Hilgen.
This trip is light with only carry-on luggage: One roll-on and one briefcase. Sure makes it quicker to check in and get to the plane. Our flight from Cincinnati to Washington DC Dulles was uneventful with a three-hour layover and then on to a new airline for me: Copa Airlines of Panama. The plane, a 737, was not that full and Jorge and I each had aisle seats in economy class with an empty seat beside us. I call this my new "business class." Works for me. The flight to Panama City is almost five hours. At sunset, we flew right over Cuba.
Surprisingly I had two redeemable movies to watch. Both documentary types. One was "Pawn Sacrifice" a 2014 story about chess champion Bobby Fischer. It was interesting to see the dramatization of his chess championship tournament with Russian Boris Spassky. The other was "Selma," the story of the black human rights marches in the 60's that I remember well in my growing-up teen years. Usually, I don't watch movies because most are so inane, but these I found to be interesting.
Jorge and I arrived in Panama City at 8:30 pm and were picked up by Jose Pablo Abelardov. Jose Pablo Figueroa Zelaya is his son and brother is Manual who was a former ABC student in the class of 2016. This family is originally from Honduras, but has lived a long time in Panama. They connect for Sabbath services each week to Guatemala. Israel Robledo is their pastor and they go to Guatemala for the Feast of Tabernacles. I’m still trying to fully understand how the Spanish figure their names, but I’m sure that I will before this trip is over. But, wait! We’ll be in Portuguese country!
We are staying at the Lacresta Inn in the downtown Panama City. Panama City is a lot bigger than I thought. About one and a half million people live here. Lots of high rises and lots of traffic.
Tomorrow, Thursday (the 16) we plan to see the Panama Canal and then fly to Manaus, a city of two million in the Amazon. From Manaus we will fly to Boa Vista Friday where we will spend two nights and meet with our elder Arlindo Lina Filho.
I have enjoyed rooming with Jorge. We have gotten to know each other quite well at the home office and it’s great travelling together.