Panama 2018: Tia Pamela and Baby Joel

Jarelys posted this pic on Facebook; it’s a shot of me and her baby Joel about eight months after he was born. By last year Joel was walking, and he’s slimmed down a bit. I’ll see him again in January, when he’ll be about two and a half. I hope he’s thriving. I hope Jari has been able to continue her studies at the public University of Panama in canal management. Her partner, Joel, is youth pastor at their church. I think his day job is different — computer programming, perhaps. As of my visit last year they were trying to buy a house, so they could live on their own and not with Joel’s mother.

Jari apparently just posted this pic; my sister Wendy is on Facebook and sent it to me. The image of me holding her young baby was important to Jari, which is touching to me. Jari is Minga’s granddaugter; her mother is Ita, who was Minga’s youngest when I left Panama in 1969.

What a long and winding and precious relationship this has been. And I continue to be Tia Pamela to them all.

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