Archive for February 16th, 2009

Message: Peter and Tina are sitting in the park doing nothing, but just gazing into the sky, while all their friends are having fun with their beloved half.

Tina: I’m so bored. Just wish I have a boyfriend now to spend time with.

Peter: I guess we’re the only leftovers. We’re the only person who isn’t with a date now.  (Both sigh in silence for a while.)

Tina: I think I have a good idea. Lets play a game.

Peter: Eh? What game?

Tina: Eem..It’s quite simple. You be my boyfriend for 100 days and I’ll be your girlfriend for 100 days. what do you think?

Peter: Oookay…Anyway I don’t have any plans for the next few months.

Tina: You sound like you aren’t looking forward to it at all. Cheer up. Today will be our first day and our first date. Where should we go?

Peter: What about a movie? I heard that there is a really great movie in theater now.

Tina: Seems like I don’t have any better idea than this. Lets move. (Went to watch their movies and sent each other home.)

Day 2: Peter and Tina went to a concert together, and Peter bought Tina a key chain with a star.

Day 3: They went shopping together for a friend’s birthday present. Share an ice-cream together and hugged each other for the first time.

Day 7: Peter drove Tina up onto a mountain and they watch the sunset together. When the night came and the moon glowed, they sat on the grass gazing at the stars together.  A meteor passed by. Tina mumbled something.

Day 25: Spend time at a theme park and got onto roller coasters, and ate hot dogs and cotton candy. Peter and Tina got in the haunted house and Tina grabbed someone’s hand instead of Peter’s hand by accident. They laughed together for a while.

Day 67: They drove pass a circus and decided to get in to watch the show. The midget asked Tina to play a part as his assistant in the magic show. Went around to see other entertainments around after the show. Came to a fortune teller and she just said,  “Treasure every moment from now on” and a tear rolled down the fortune teller’s cheek.

Day 84: Tina suggested that they go to the beach. The beach wasn’t so crowded that day. They had their first kiss with each other just as the sun was setting.

Day 99: They decided to have a simple day and is deciding to have a walk around the city. They sits down onto a bench.

1:23 pm – Tina: I’m thirsty. Let’s rest for a while first.

Peter: Wait here while I go buy some drinks. What would you like?

Tina: Eem…Apple juice will be just fine.

1:43 pm:  Tina waiting for about 20 minutes and Peter hadn’t returned. Then someone walked up to her.

Stranger: Is your name Tina?

Tina: Yes, and may I help you?

Stranger: Just now down there on the street a drunk driver has crashed into a guy. I think it’s your friend.  Tina ran over to the spot with the stranger and sees Peter lying on the floor with blood over his face and her apple juice still in his hands. The ambulance came and she went to the hospital with Peter. Tina sat outside the emergency room for five and a half hours. The doctor came out, and he sigh.

11:51 pm – Doctor: I’m sorry, but we did the best we could. He is still breathing now but God would take him away from us very soon. We found this letter inside his pocket.

The doctor hands over the letter to Tina and she goes into the room to see Peter. He look weak but peaceful. Tina read the letter and then she burst into tears.  Here is what the letter said.

“Tina, Our 100 days is almost over. I had fun with you during all these days. Although you may be greedy sometimes and less thoughtful, but these all brought happiness into my life. I have realized that you are a really cute girl and blamed myself for never taking the time to know that. I have nothing much to ask for, but I just wish that we can extend the day. I want to be your boyfriend forever and wish that you can be beside me all the time. Tina, I love you.”

11:58 – Tina: (Sobbing) Peter. Did you know what was the wish I made on the night there was a meteor? I asked God to let us last forever. We were supposed to last 100 days so Peter! You can’t leave me! I love you, but can you come back to me now? I love you Peter. I love you.

As the clock struck twelve, Peter’s heart stopped beating.  It was 100 days exactly.

Note: Tell the guy or girl or your loved ones,  that you love them before it’s too late. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You never know who will be leaving you and never return.

Yep, these are words of wisdom.  Please take heed.  Good Day.

Source:  Class of ’08 – Churvaloo Network

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Christopher Pierce

Credit: Christopher Pierce

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Last Friday, February 13th, I got up earlier than usual  because I needed to pick up a check at Profuturo and wanted to get there before the traffic jams.  In Panama we call them “tranques” and it’s like quick sand.  Once you get inside a “tranque” you’re stuck forever.  Due to an intense road repairs program, and the construction of the Coastal Strip (Cinta Costera) bordering the Balboa Avenue, there are tranques everywhere all day long .  But that’s another story.

I got to the parking lot of Profuturo about a quarter after six.  It was still dark and I had all the parking spaces I wanted and the traffic flow was just perfect.  The morning was cool and the air was fresh to breathe.  Now I had to wait until eight o’clock when Profuturo opened its doors to the public.

As I sat inside my car listening to the morning news, I noticed a young woman unpacking newspapers and organizing them in neat stack of about 25 newspapers each.  She was about 50 feet from where I was.  After organizing the stacks, she walked the streets peddling the papers while the cars waited for the light to switch from red to green.  She had a rapid pace and was always smiling.  She had to move fast to beat the traffic light.

What caught my attention was how much she walked.  She walked almost a whole block selling her newspapers before the red light switched to green.  She did this over and over again in an endless loop.  When she finished her stack of 25 papers, she went back to her spot to get some more.  I estimate she walks between 20 to 30 miles every day.  When the day is nice and cool, the work is bearable, but after 11:00 a.m. the blazing heat of Panama’s tropical sun can halt you to a crawl.  Just breathing is difficult, not to mention walking with a stack of 25 newspapers on your hands.

I approached and asked if I could take a photograph of her and also congratulated her, since Valentine’s Day would be the next day.  She smiled shyly and said yes.  Before I got her picture, she told that she had to wake up at 3:00 a.m. to take a bus from San Miguelito (about 15 kilometers away) to her spot in front of the El Carmen Church. She had to be there before 5:00 a.m. to receive the rack of newspapers from La Prensa Newspaper delivery truck.

Since she couldn’t get a regular job, the only paying  job available was selling La Prensa newspapers.  She had graduated from High School, knew a little bit about computers, but couldn’t get a normal job because she had no previous experience.   The only job she found available, was to work on the streets.  She had a little girl, three years old, and no supporting husband.  Soon after the child was born, he abandoned her for a younger woman.  She hasn’t seen him since.

Every day, Susana has to walk the streets of Panama in order to bring food to the table for a young hungry mouth waiting back home.  In a way, Susana reminded me of the early pioneers who traveled West on slow-moving schooners to find a piece a land to plant their roots.   They didn’t ask for bailouts, welfare, food stamps or other give outs.  All the wanted was a piece of land to call home and pay for that piece of land with good honest ole hard work.

When it rains, Susana’s hair gets wet.  When the sun it out, Susana’s hair gets hot.  When dirty water is splashed from the streets to the sidewalks, Susana’s clothes get wet and dirty.  But Susana is willing to bite the bullet to place some food on the table for a hungry mouth back home.  She does it with good honest ole work, the way it used to be a long time ago.

My dear readers, this is Susana, one of thousands of workers of the streets in Panama:

The face of one of the thousands of street workers in Panama who work below the traffic lights.

The face of one of the thousands of street workers in Panama who work below the traffic lights. (Credit to Michael Moore for photographic editing)

For the street workers of the world, just like Susana in Panama, who meets life face to face without faltering, I tip my hat to you.  You give us a lesson of dignity and honesty every day you go out and work on the streets for an honest fee.  Good Day.

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