My family

Thanks to blog reader David Holder for these photos of the place where our relatives were held during WWII. He also found this newsletter ( Towards the end there are more photos and information about the camp.

“There is a photo of the headquarters building site, the stone on the site, and the plaque on the stone; and then three photos of the partially demolished railway station.”



We were exhausted from all the graduation activities and decided to eat out on Christmas Day. Several of the hotels in David offer buffet lunches on special holidays. We invited our old friend Stan to join us. We met him years ago in Golfito, where we were both living at the time. He moved to David after we did and really likes it here.


The dinner-dance was held at the posh private country club in David. All the girls involved made every effort to be the belle of the ball. Mine were no exception.


Last night was the actual ceremony, with the presentation of diplomas.  The heat in the gymnasium was overpowering.  There were a few organizational hiccups but everyone eventually received their certificate and yearbook.

My daughter Keka (Angelica) just graduated from high school. In this part of Panama, at least, graduation is serious business. Three major social events are involved. Keka went to the first on Wednesday night – a dinner with all the students in her year and all the teachers. The parents paid for the teacher’s food and drinks as well as those of the students.

Tomorrow is the graduation ceremony itself. Keka will wear a gown and a mortar board, while the rest of the family are required to dress formally. I’ve had to resort to renting a jacket and buying trousers, shirts and shoes, as I don’t possess any clothes that would be suitable. The school warned the students that anyone who gets rowdy (i.e., throws their mortar board in the air!) will not receive their diploma.

The third event, a dinner-dance for students, parents and friends, involves evening dresses and hours spent with the hairdresser and make-up artists. It is to be held at an exclusive (usually members-only) private club.  I hope I survive to enjoy Christmas…

My daughter Abi organized a birthday party for grandson Dani and his cousin Valeria for Halloween. The decorations were great and it was also a fancy dress party. Dani went for Harry Potter, while Valeria dressed up as Hermione (she really has the hair for it!).

Not to be outdone, my other grandson, Max, dressed up as Voldemort.

Left to right: Daughter Beth dressed up as Madonna/Cindy Lauper. I had just arrived back from a week-long trip and had no time to prepare for the party.  Charlotte wore Marilyn Monroe’s famous white dress, while Abi dressed up as a superannuated hippie. Hmmmm… I wonder if she had anyone in particular in mind.

Yet another milestone. My daughter Angelica turned 18 yesterday. In the evening, some of her friends turned up to serenade her.


Most of them are studying music and have a preference for jazz-rock (which they refer to simply as fusión), so we ended up watching several of my music DVDs. They particularly liked Colosseum. The sax player bears an uncanny resemblance to Will Smith.


Happy birthday, Keka!

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