Monday, September 15, 2008

Elizabetth Leigh (Lizzy)

My very good friend Elizabeth Leigh died Saturday morning of heart failure. She had been in the hospital in intensive care for more than 4 weeks. Here she is sitting in her living room. Lizzy was a singer and played the Viola. She sang in just about every choir in Panama in the more than 30 years she had lived here. She was also active in The British Aid Society which provided care and visits for, at first, elderly Afro-antillians and later anyone who had no one to care for them. Lizzy was know for her extra delicious baked chicken and here she is showing us the one we are about to eat. You can see from the background that her house was full of a great variety on wonderful thing. Books and baskets and carvings from wounan indiginas were one of her joys. She acted as a middle person for the sale of indiginous arts and crafts - always paying up front.
. Here she is at her dining room table. Her husband, Dr. Egbert Leigh, (a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute here in Panama) is in the background. Lizzy and Bert and their Children Mary and John have been my extended family for more than 20 years. I learned a lot from lizzy - a lot of practical things. One was how to pick up a snake without getting bitten. This lesson was when a small BOA (12 to 15 inches) fell from a rafer under her house where a group learning basket weaving was working. Unter her tutaledge I have also learned to make delicious chocolate sauce from scratch.
She will be greatly missed by her friends and colleagues.

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