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Date Posted: 18:47:25 03/20/15 Fri
Author: Ron Mack
Subject: He's Baaaack!!

I recently returned from a 3-week cruise to and through the Panama Canal, central and south America, visiting Aruba, Cartagena, the Canal zone, Nicaragua, Costa Rico, and finishing up in Los Angeles. It was a great cruise, seeing some sights from the past and new ones to add to my memory banks. I had been stationed in the Panama Canal zone in the 1970’s and remember many of the sights, but this was a welcomed refresher for me. It is sometimes difficult to adjust to 90-100 degree temps when you leave a northern climate, but it did feel good to be in the warm sun and near the pool, if necessary. I always enjoy cruising since it is the best travel for the dollar and you see amazing places and meet unique people. On this cruise, we met a couple from Australia, the husband who was a PhD in chemistry and physics and lectured all over the world; another couple had lived in the Panama canal zone for many years and the husband was a former Air Force fighter pilot in WWII, flying the P-40 and the P-51 Mustang…I immediately sought him out for info and memories of the war, He, personally, spoke Spanish, English and his native language of Finnish. Another coupe came from Northern California and the husband had advanced degrees in Chemistry and worked for a sugar refinery as a research and technical chemist. Many others were from around the world with amazing stories and impressive credentials. One person, though, caught my attention as she was from Europe and appeared to be quite wealthy. However, she was quite disappointed with the cruise because she had to witness “such poverty and impoverished people”! Me thinks she needs to look around at the world and smell the roses…most of the world is that way and we are to be quite grateful and awed at our wealth and good fortune to be blessed to live in a country like the USA! This is one of the main reasons I promote young people to serve and see the world either through the military or some other agency that aids others. We tend to forget our bountiful life is the envy of the world and we must rightfully thank our Creator for his provisions. In another light, I noticed that not much has happened on the forum ,except for some obituaries, and was debating some issues to discuss to raise the eyebrows of my critics and “political correctness monitors”. It was interesting a while ago when Kathy and I “discussed” some issues that brought out a plethora of debate and new participants… maybe I/we should try that again. In the meantime, it is good to be back in the USA and enjoy clean air, clean water, and clean food. Many times I feel like kissing the ground when I arrive back in the US, esp. after visiting many of the 3rd world nations. I invite you all to leave your comfort zone and open your eyes and minds to the big world around you that just looks at this country as blessed beyond comprehension and hopes, one day, to make some improvements in their situation to give them a better life- Amen!!

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