Beautiful Tranquilo Bay

Jay’s son Scott (age 9) received an assignment in his elementary school to write a paragraph about a place in Bocas del Toro that he loves. Here is his paragraph which appeared in the Bocas Breeze newspaper this month.

There is a hotel on beautiful Bastimentos Island that sits next to the amazing turquoise colored Caribbean sea. The guests that get to go hiking under the big green trees get to learn about some species of bugs and trees. Almost all of the guests get to see different kinds of birds such as: black, white and orange Oropendolas, turquoise and blue Honey Creepers and more. The main building is big and beautiful. It is two stories tall. Upstairs it has a large dining room with pretty clean furniture and a bar. The main house has a porch that the guests can see an amazing orange and yellow sunrise. You cant see the sun during a sunset but you can see the red and green parrots flying across the sky. The hotel serves you breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are six cabanas and they are planning to build six more next to the tropical forest. There is a library for grownups and kids filled with books and games. The hotel has two rusty old bikes, but three good ones. It is to explore and discover all that Bastimentos is all about. That is why I like beautiful Tranquilo Bay.

Oreba Chocolate Community

We went with a family over to Oreba Chocolate’s tour in March. The family was so taken with the experience they wanted to send something back for the community. We asked the Peace Corp representative what would be a good gift for the community. He told us that the kids were really into playing baseball. The family sent a set of gloves for this community and for another community where they kayaked here in Bocas del Toro. This video is from Adam, the peace corp representative, showing a few of the kids playing catch with the gloves. It was perfect timing – we brought the gloves back in our container in early July just in time for the children to begin their baseball season. The village in conjunction with several other indigenous villages has a league for the children.

For more information about Oreba Chocolate and its tours, check them out on Facebook.


Hasta Luego Amiga!

Gina has been with us here as the children’s teacher since March 2008. We have watched the children grow and learn with her love and guidance for over three years now. It has been an amazing experience for all of us. We are sad to see her leave, but we know that it is time for her to move on to do other things. We are all going to miss her, but we are also looking forward to getting to know our new teacher who arrives in July. Gina was able to meet her and believes she will move the children forward in wonderful ways – we also believe this to be true.

Gina uses music by Jack Hartman with the kids in the classroom. Once she told them that she was leaving, there was a special song that the kids began to sing in order to prepare them for her departure. The children sang this song during their spring presentation. I was not the only one tearing up is all I am going to say. Gina has very definitely left a Hand Print on our Hearts!


Hand Print On Our Hearts

On this day we remember all the ways you’ve touched out hearts
On this day we all celebrate that we have been a part
Of your hopes and your dreams
That have shown us where to go
Of your work and your love
That have helped the children grow

Through the years, you’ve taken us so far
And now we’ll carry on when you are gone

So we will work, we will dream
You have shown us where to go
We will hope, we will love
We will help the children grow
Oh, we thank you & promise to go on
Because you have left us
With your hand print on our hearts

Photo Note:

The shirts and dresses are a gift from Marge Viola to Gina and the children. Now whenever they wear the shirts or the dress (and when I take the patches off and save them for them later) they will remember Miss Gina and Grandmarge for handing down such beautiful heirlooms to them all. Gina’s dress originally belonged to Marge. The animal patches on each of the children’s clothes came from the same dress.

Spring School Presentation

Gina worked with Tres and Boty to put together a wonderful presentation of the work the children have completed over the past school year. They did tongue twisters, recited poetry, sang songs, showed us all of the work among other wonderful activities. Here are a few photos of the special ceremony.


Down at the dock

We were blessed to have a family return this year for a second time with their children for Spring Break. Our children and their children get along really well and have the best of times. The guests tell us they plan on coming each year to visit so it will be great fun to watch how the friendship between the kids continues to grow over the years. This is just an example of the fun times we had down at the dock. Only three of the six children are in this shot but they were all around playing and having a blast.