Friday, February 13, 2009

My Country, My Inspiration, My Orchid

Inspiration can be a mysterious and fleeting thing with no clear source, and at other times the inspiration is crystal clear. After a recent trip to my hometown in Panama, I experienced the latter form of inspiration.

I was invited by Las Amigas de Malambo for a project that is near and dear to my heart, which is the Malambo Orphanage. I had the privilege of being honored with the keys to the city and was treated with great love. Amongst the many wonderful celebrations, I attended one of the most glamorous parties in the magical home in the sky, of the infamous architect Nacho Mallol, his lovely wife Sandra and their beautiful family. They hosted a party that was entertainment Panamanian style and was a thoroughly enjoyable event that would rival even the most lavish Hollywood parties.

Another highlight of my trip and the source of my latest inspiration was a visit to one of the largest orchid farms in the world, Hacienda Loma Linda, owned by Juan Arias and Juan Arias Jr. Experiencing this farm is like a visual feast for the eyes with a wide array of orchids blossoming in various hues and proportions. Immediately I was reminded of the splendor of my country and of the connection to nature that I always feel when I visit Panama.

To pay homage to my source of inspiration I created my own version of an orchid composed of wild moss, colorful leaves, and exotic candles. The beauty of this arrangement for a table is that at the end of an event each guest can take an orchid home with them. So not only is the orchid a decoration but it also serves as a wonderful gift; and that's the gift of inspiration that keeps on giving.
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