Posts Tagged ‘Play’
During a recent visit of The Twisters, we removed the dust from an old plastic rocking dog we had stored and forgotten in one of our closets, and turned it over to Paola—the youngest of The Twisters.
She was jumping with joy, thinking the dog was some kind of horse and headed towards the saddle. Nothing beats the happiness of a child. Take a look at Paola riding the high saddle of the dog-horse.
This is not the first time I’ve posted a picture of a children’s train in Lingua Franca, and probably it won’t be the last. I’m in love with these miniature trains, and when I see one, the child inside of me, comes to the surface. There are two of them here in Panama. One is located at El Dorado Mall, and the other operates at MetroMall. They are exactly the same. Even the color of the wagons match.
It’s nice to see the faces of satisfaction on the children’s faces when they travel on the train together with their parents. Below are several pictures of this attractive train at El Dorado Mall. I love it!
When Abdiel—our grandnephew—was about three, his godfather gave him a bicycle for Christmas. At such a young age, he barely used it. We kept the bike at home, and every time he came over, we persuaded him to ride the bicycle. Two rounds inside the livingroom and that was it. He preferred to play with a bunch of multi-colored Hot Wheels toys my wife had given him. As he grew older, he learned how to ride the bicycle and abused it to such a degree, the poor bike can barely roll its wheels. Abdiel was screaming for a replacement. Screaming is a soft word, in fact he shouted so loud it could be heard by the natives in Timbuktu.
His father who drives a yellow taxi, is having a hard time buying all the stuff for the traditional Christmas and New Year’s dinner. There wasn’t money to spend on expensive toys. Abdiel wouldn’t take No for an answer. He wanted a new Raly bicycle for Christmas and that was it. Period. Alcibiades, the father, told us about the situation. I said, “No problem.” “Pass the hat amongst the closest relatives and friends and ask for money.” The 20-30 Club does it every year and rakes in millions of dollars. In Panama they call it the Annual Teletón. Two weeks ago they raised more than $5 million in just 48 hours.
Immediately I made a list of potential contributors and came up with $90.00 which was a little more than the cost of the bicycle. The next day the hat was passed out and money started to flow in. Now as much as we expected, but nonetheless, it was money the desperate father didn’t have.
To make a long story short, two days before Christmas Eve, the money was raised in its entirety, plus the bicycle dealer gave us a discount and the final price tag of the bicycle came down to $76 and change. Abdiel would have his bike.
Somehow, the word got to him and he cried and cried until his father brought him to our house to see the sparkling yellow bicycle. When he saw it, his eyes opened the size of a quarter and shouted, “Tengo bicicleta nueva.” (I have a new bicycle). He wanted to take it home, but we said not yet. Santa needed to inspect it before delivering it to his house on Christmas Eve. He understood Santa’s wishes and reluctantly went home empty-handed.
While he was home, I took a couple of shots of Abdiel, Karol and the bike to freeze the happy encounter. I’m sure these pictures will be viewed and reviewed again in the future while I’ll be looking at the Gardenias from the roots, if you know what I mean.
No more talking, now let’s take a look at the brand new bike and “The Twisters.” Here we go.
And now you know why this post is called Christmas on Wheels. Happy biking Abdiel. Good Day.
Posted in Miscellaneous, tagged Banana Plantations, Carousels, Changuinola, Entertainment, Kids, Merry-Go-Rounds, Metromall, Panama, Play, Tourism, United Fruit Company on November 13, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
I was born in Chiriquí, but spent most of my kid’s life in a banana plantation in Bocas del Toro. During those early years, the plantations were owned by a Boston, Mass based corporation, The United Fruit Company. This company took care of its employees like a mother would take care of its siblings. I would say we were spoiled by my father’s employer. Those were the best days of my life. I only have warm memories of those wonderful years living in Changuinola.
Good as it was to live there, we didn’t have the goodies of urban areas such as, a circus, theme parks with rollercoasters and of course, Merry-Go-Rounds. I saw my first Merry-Go-Round when I was about thirty years old in Panama City.
Ever since that first experience, there seems to be a strong attraction between those flying horses and me. Whenever I’m before a carousel, I’m mesmerized by the jumping horses, hundreds of bright light bulbs and the exciting music. A carousel brings the best kid’s instincts inside my brain. I guess we never cease to be kids, and that’s wonderful. I never wanted to be a grown up; it’s too much responsability, plus its awful boring. But that’s besides the point of this post.
Last Sunday I found another carousel at MetroMall just a 5 minutes drive from our home. I was ready with my old Birthday camera and took a couple of shots. I stood there, before the lively horses, for about half an hour, till my wife tugged to me to a place where there were leather purses on sale. You know how women behave when there’s a sign that reads, “On Sale”.
Below are a couple of pictures of a carousel with stunning flying horses. Here we go.
A carousel (from French carrousel, from Italian carosello), or merry-go-round, is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The “seats” are traditionally in the form of rows of wooden horses or other animals mounted on posts, many of which are moved up and down via gearwork to simulate galloping, to the accompaniment of looped circus music. This leads to one of the alternative names, the galloper. Other popular names are roundabout and flying horses.
Modern carousels in America are generally populated with horses. Carousels in Europe, and in America from earlier periods, frequently include diverse varieties of mounts, like pigs, zebras, mythological creatures (such as dragons, sea monsters or unicorns), and deer, to name a few. Sometimes, chair or bench-like seats are used as well, and occasionally mounts can be shaped like airplanes or cars, though these do not always go up and down.
There is only one carousel in the world that rides in a waving motion – “Over the Jumps: The Arkansas Carousel” in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is also the only remaining wooden track carousel built by the Herschell & Spillman Company, and one of only four track carousels still in existence.
If there’s still a kid inside of you, and you’re in the vicinity of MetroMall in Panama City, Panama, you know exactly where to go. Good Day.
In an effort to motivate Little Johnny into focusing more attention on his schoolwork, his father said, “When Abe Lincoln was your age, he was studying books by the light of the fireplace.”
Little Johnny replied, “When Abe Lincoln was your age, he was the President of the United States.”
Source: Miss Cellania
Last Sunday, October 18, 2009, I went hunting for photographs at the former Panama Canal Zone; specifically the historic cemeteries of Corozal and Paraiso. I returned home about 10:30 a.m. just in time before a tropical cloud burst. October is the rainiest month in Panama.
When I opened the door, I head the screams and shouts of my wife’s grandnephews—Abdiel and Karol. Right then and there, I knew it was going to be an interesting day. When these guests are home, the house shakes and rattles like in the middle of an earthquake. They really know how to shake a tree.
As usual, I went to my office and started downloading about 100 photographs from the camera to the computer via the USB cable. While I was in the midst of this activity, I heard loud laughter, screams and shouts in our guest room where the kids were playing. Just in case, I sneaked inside the room with my camera handy. Just in case…
I discovered a game scene in full swing inside the room. It was difficult to take these shots, since there was no time to frame the pictures. The rascals were moving all the time, and to make things worse, the room was dark. Fortunately the flash was on. Here we go.
Nothing beats the scene of children at play. Those of you who have children know exactly what I’m talking about. When they departed at 5:30 p.m. peace and serenity returned to our home…until next week, that is. Good Day.