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Published: March 17th 2006
Kuna at the Albrook Airport
There are many Kuna indians at the airport. The one way to get back to their villages is by plane. This boy was pretty scared by us until I presented him with one of toys my daughter sent down with me to give away.
Today we flew to David, Panama from Panama City. David is in the West part of Panama about 50 km from Costa Rica. David is the the capital of the Chiriqui Province. Chiricanos have a certain independent attitude that is very simular to Texans in the United States. They are proud of their province and their heritage. You can even get a Chiriqui passport and Chiriqui ID card! David is a thriving city of 80,000 people.
We flew out of Panama City from the Albrook Airport. It was one of the former US airbases. The flight was short and pleasant. We were met by several of the David Rotary members and were soon on our way to review the first water project funded by the District 5710 major grant. The David Rotary Club has been assisting the village of Santo Domingo de Guzman since it had been relocated close to David. The club assisted with a large water tank and pump house. We met with a member of the water committee. We spoke with her at some length about the needs of the community. They are still in need of an electric meter and the Rotary Club is asking for
Flying to David
Here we are flying over the canal. You can see a ship going under the new bridge. The bridge is at the start of the culbre cut.
the community to provide their own funds to make that happen.
After visiting Santo Dominog de Guzman we were all treated to a wonderful lunch at the David Club. It was nice to sit down over a cold bottle of cerveza and talk with our good friends.
After lunch we travled to Canazas, Zapote. I found a really cool mapping website to get an idea where these villages are. Try this link: Village of Zapote
. You can see that it is East of David and pretty rural. Greg, Bill Kiesling, and I visited Canazas, Zapote last year. Their well had run dry and had dug a new one. They had to first fix the governments equipment, pay and feed the employees, and provide the fuel. After those expenses, they didn't have the money to buy a new pump, motor, or distribution lines. When we visited last year the pump and motor barely worked and the distribution system was very poor. When we returned last year from our trip, the first club we made a presentation to was the Olathe noon club. Right after our presentation they told us they were going to fund this project. Wes McCoy delivered the money
in July and it was fully operational when we saw it on this trip. Along with Panama North's water project in Villa Italia, it was the most rewarding part of the trip. It was a wonderful experience for me to see our efforts of speaking with clubs last year actually resulting in clean, dependible water for our friends in Panama. The people of Canazas Zapote were thrilled to see all of us. After reviewing the equipment and seeing the pump and motor work, they treated us to fresh coconuts and fresh basked cashew nuts. It was great spending time and as I said earlier, very rewarding. The cost of improvements were under $3,000. An amount that seems so small to us in Kansas but an amount that is a huge challenge for people who make $1-$3 per hour if they are lucky. Thank you Olathe Noon Rotary club.
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