Volume I, Issue 1           Monday, August 4th, 2003           Florida State University - Panama Student E-Zine



Photo by Desiree Vega
The International Night of Talents

by John Balparda

     Florida State University–Panama has quickly become an institution that attracts students from all of Latin America, as well as other countries throughout the world. This has created a cultural kaleidoscope where modes of dress, foods and customs blend together every single day. Happily, the final result is that FSU-Panama has become a close-knit community with a strong international flavor.

     Because our cultures are rooted very deep inside the heart of each one of us—like markings in the soul—the FSU-Panama Student Council decided to sponsor International Week from July 21-24. The weeklong event was full of activities that reflected the cultural backgrounds of FSU-Panama’s student population. Some of the events included typical foods and music from China, Colombia, the United States and last, but not least, Panama. Everyone who peeked into the cafeteria during these days found the place transformed and fun.

     The culmination of FSU-Panama’s International Week was the International Night of Talents. This event was held late in the evening of Thursday, August 24, in the FSU-Panama auditorium.

     In spite of several weeks of rehearsal, the nervousness could be seen on the pale faces of many participants (including myself) as the purple curtain opened. The public, about two hundred strong, generously welcomed the hosts for the night: Tammy Effio (I loved her dress) and Michael Cellucci.

     After the opening words came the first act of the night: a choreography that depicted a number of international dances from several of the countries represented among our student population. The following day, many members of the FSU-Panama community who had attended expressed how impressed people were with the stunning performance of this opening act. The music, the costume changes, and, more importantly, the dancing were truly outstanding.


Photo by Desiree Vega


     Then came Mr. Michael Galvin, professor of Spanish, who read two poems written by his own hand—the second poem was a genuinely thought-provoking rendition in verse of the Passion of Christ. (The poem is included in this edition of the Pananole News.)

     Later, it was time for music to fill the auditorium, and the ones in charge of this task were the members of the group 3 Days Practice (you can easily infer the meaning of the name). Although the band had only been together for a short period of time, the group played well. Three guest vocalists, Freddy Chan, Katy Dietrick, and Joe Mezquita, mesmerized the crowd with their performances.

     The next act in the night was Dr. Benjamin Murphy. The FSU-Panama professor of philosophy and religion told a ghost story that had people scratching their heads in wonder. I am sure that the tale that revolved around itself kept everyone from sleeping at ease that night.


Photo by Desiree Vega


     Then, what was supposed to be just another four or five acoustic songs, played by two very well known students of the FSU-Panama community, Luis Felos and Franciso García, became the funniest stage act of the night thanks to their outstanding banter and improvisational skills. The duo ended their performance with the guest appearance of Jalil Mendoza, who certainly deserves an award after singing the soon-to-be-famous Palo de Mamey.

     The International Night of Talents was an exceptionally fun event, thanks to the participation of the staff, faculty, and students who gave of their time and energies in order to make this night successful.

     There are some people who must be thanked for their dedication to this project, and for helping make this event a reality. The heroes of FSU-Panama’s International Night of Talents are: Diego Paredes, Isabella Ford, Freddy Chan, Lisa Mendez, Bernardo Valderrama, Tomas García, Joe Mezquita, Cesar Rosario, Katy Deitrick, Luis González and Franciso García.

     The performers would like me to thank everyone who attended the event, and they hope you enjoyed the evening.


Photo by Desiree Vega

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The Editorials on this website are the opinions of the Editors and may not reflect the official policies of FSU-Tallahassee or FSU-Panama. Articles and columns are the expressed views of the authors and may not represent the opinions of the Editors or FSU-Panama.