Provided by guest blogger, Capt. Elizabeth Stevenson Las Bovedes Restaurant in the old city of Panama was the scene of the big alumni event last night. MMA alumni and staff from the Kennedy were greeted by dozens of Panamanian MMA Alumni along the giant sea wall along overlooking the entrance to the canal. Atop the sea wall, panoramic views of the city skyline, canal entrance filled with ships awaiting passage and the Bridge of Americas (which eerily looks just like the Sagamore Bridge!) was the vista as hors d'ourves and wine were served.
The Panamanian contingent were warm and welcoming as we eventually made
our way along the seawall, down an ancient set of wide stairs, to the
plaza where traditional Panamanian dancers entertained us before we sat
at the outdoor patio for an amazing meal of classic cervici, fresh sea
bass, a delicious scalloped potato type dish, beef medallions with
sauce, rice and more.
The highlight was not the sights or the food (although the flan and rice
pudding desserts were amazing!), but our alumni of Panama. With over
thirty alumni present including canal pilots, shipping agents, and
captains, who accompanied by wives and guests, there was non-stop
conversation - many faces were known but for those alumni meeting for
the first time, it was like family. Most conversations began with 'Hi,
I'm Elizabeth - class of '97' which was then followed by the other
persons name, class year and then rolling into what company you were
part of, the new buildings on campus, stories of being a cadet, and
ending with promises to visit and guarantees to come back to Taylor's
Point - soon!
While our Panamanian alumni may be old friends, and others new friends
we just met, we will be with our shipmates again today! This morning we
are hosting both delegates from the US Embassy and our alumni for a tour
of the ship. Cadets volunteered their time to assist with this project
and are excited to show off the Kennedy.
This evening, Capt. Bushy is hosting a similar group for a reception
aboard the Kennedy. Tonight's event will also include invited cadets
(mostly seniors in leadership positions) so while today's maintenance
crew is busy getting the vessel in top shape, and the Chartwells staff
with Chef Jim and Chef Mike are in the galley preparing what is sure to
be a culinary delight - and we will blog about it tomorrow!
NOTE from Captain Bushy: I want to thank Elizabeth for giving me a day
off - and tomorrow I will have another guest blogger - you'll all be