52 Weeks of Life Seen Through My Eyes

Ida's Photo Theme Challenge


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4. Architecture

In 1999, renowned architect, Frank Gehry, envisioned and completed the design of a building that he decided to donate to the country of Panama in honor of his Panamanian wife. In 2004, work on this complex structure began. The Biodiversity Museum: Panama Bridge of Life is located on the Amador Causeway, a corridor constructed from the excavation of the Panama Canal. Due to a late start and various setbacks, construction which was supposed to be completed in 2011 has a completion date that is undetermined. The museum will house 8 exhibitions, showcasing Panama’s biodiversity, led by the Smithsonian Institute and the University of Panama. Those exhibitions are already being assembled. This is one theme that required more than a photo or two. After all, The Biodiversity Museum is the first Frank Gehry design to be erected in Latin America!

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This shows the back view of the museum, visible to passing ships exiting and entering the canal.

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The entrance of the museum.

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Night view of the building front.

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Exhibitions taking form behind the painted windows.

There is so much more to this brightly colored and angular design. Quite a showcase for the little country of Panama.

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9. Foggy

Here in the mountains of Western Panama, particularly in the area in which we live, fog often descends on us on rainy days, disguising everything in a pretty dense shroud. The other day was no exception. My husband told me to grab my camera so he could drive me around the gated community in which we live before the fog dissipated. He knew “Foggy” was one of my themes. How could he not? I have ensnared him in the challenge trap!  I snapped many publishable possibilities, but as usual, I was at a loss about which one to choose. The one I finally decided to use was taken across the road from a house that used to belong to a very dear friend who was responsible for dragging me into this challenge.

 

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39. Shallow Depth of Field

Being a totally amateur photographer with just my point and shoot camera, I had no idea what was expected concerning this theme. Later, perusing the photos I took on a recent road trip to Panama City, my husband pointed out that one of my photos fit the theme. The skeptical side of me had me Googling shallow depth of field images. By golly, he was right. My friends know I probably shouldn’t question my husband’s depth of knowledge which is certainly not shallow. While driving into the city on what was turning out to be another gray, rainy day, we stopped at a popular place for locals to watch the activity on the Panama Canal. One of the Celebrity Cruise ships was docked and appeared to be undergoing maintenance of some kind, but there was also the usual activity associated with the Canal and the port. I snapped this photo looking back at a ship passing under the Centennial Bridge along the Canal route. Initially I thought it was unfortunate that the chain link fence hampered my view, but actually it gave me an opportunity of unwittingly fulfilling the theme, “Shallow Depth of Field”.

 

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52. What’s Cooking?

Yesterday I was honored to be invited to participate in a luncheon with WOW, a women’s group here in Boquete. The Asian inspired luncheon was held at a beautiful home in the mountains with spectacular views. The organizer, Dede, is an amateur chef, passionate about cooking and sharing that love with friends and family.  She spent many hours preparing the homemade sauces, shopping for the best ingredients (no small feat here in Panama), cooking the chicken, pork, and lobster, grilling the tuna, making wonton crisps and sticky rice, as well as ice cream and caramelized bananas before we all descended on her to dice, roll, toss, and fry, adding the finishing touches to a fabulous meal I won’t be forgetting any time soon! Unfortunately I didn’t take nearly as many photographs as I had planned. In fact one of the woman asked if I usually fry egg rolls with my camera hanging from my wrist!

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Our Menu:

Sticky Rice
Crispy Wontons with Spicy Grilled Tuna
Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls with

Lobster or Chicken
 served with homemade Peanut Sauce and Thai Chili Sauce
Egg Rolls with Pork or Chicken and veggies
 served with Thai Chili Sauce or Citrus Ponzu Sauce
Asian Salad
Crispy Wontons with Wasabi Cream Cheese and Teriyaki Sesame Glaze
Homemade Ice Cream with Caramelized Bananas and Crystallized Ginger
Ginger Green Tea  
Wine


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1. A Hot Ride

On Sunday, while driving into Panama City (and I don’t mean the one in Florida!), I saw a Diablo Rojo, an old American school bus painted in bright colors, used for public transportation. They’re not nearly as prolific as they once were, but there are still quite a few traversing the roads outside the city.  These buses are normally jam-packed and do not have air conditioning. Therefore, these wildly painted and colorful vehicles are “A Hot Ride”!

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10. Framed

On a dark, stormy afternoon back in early 2010 while my husband and I were walking on the beach, we came across a mass of driftwood I thought was quite a tangle of natural beauty. Over the next few months, we noted its different locations and positions along this 14 km beach as the tides toyed with it. After spending a year on the Caribbean island of Antigua, we returned to Panama, but never spotted that driftwood mass until the weekend before last. It wasn’t too distant from the last place we had seen it in 2011, but definitely buried much deeper in the sand. I decided to play with it, photographing the waves through its bleached snarled roots. When looking at the results, I figured they worked for “Framed”.

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And here’s the driftwood in its entirety, many of its roots ripped away and its jagged edges softened by the pounding surf, and faded by the intense sunlight over time.

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27. Lost/Forgotten Items

At Playa Barqueta in Chiriqui Province, Panama there is almost always driftwood around for the treasure hunters to collect. A friend who owns a beautiful house on the beach, found a large, not particularly interesting piece that washed up in front of her home. She stood it upright and decided to use it as a base for lost flip flops and beach sandals that get caught amidst the debris where we both enjoy hunting for interesting and unique treasures that nature usually provides. And so her Flip Flop Tree was born, created by nature and lost items of man.

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