This is a little example of how charming and cool Panamanian people are...So, last Wednesday our group participated in this 'community cleanup' with a lot of the Americans and locals in the area (notice the trash bags in my left hip pocket). Boquete has a problem with people just throwing their trash in the street so this was a town-wide effort to get our collective shit in order. Plus, new president Ricardo Martinelli was supposed to come to the town square the next day and Chiriqui-native and current Philadelphia Phillie, Carlos Ruiz was supposed to come on Saturday (neither of whom showed), so we had to whip the place into shape.
So, anyway, as we're cleaning up one area this little old lady joins us with one of those nifty nails-on-a-stick that comes in handy for this type of task. After a few minutes she tells Angie of an area she knows that could really use some picking up. So, Angie sends Julie and me with her. We get in her car and head up to the hills while she tells us all about her family (she has three daughters living in the States) and the town of Boquete.
She takes us for an impromptu tour of Boquete's upper regions while she tells us more about everything, while Julie and I are wondering where the hell we are going and when we're supposed to get to work. Instead, little Abuelita Anita takes us to a nice little cafe/dessert place that makes great hamburgers and strawberry desserts/confections and the like. The lady comes out and greets Anita with a big hello. Anita tells her what we're doing and then buys us fresas duros, which are like popsicles made from the frozen juice of fresh strawberries. It was quite delicious and refreshing. The waitress gives us two free big bottles of water for cleaning up the town and we were on our way.
I finish my duro in the car and think, 'Surely, we must be going to do some work now'. Anita buys some eggs from a guy on the side of the road and then takes us to her house to drop them off (her house and property are gorgeous by the way). After a few minutes inside she comes out and says she'll give us a ride into town. In one area with litter strewn about she slows down and points out that this was what she was talking about earlier. But, she keeps right on going. Julie, comfused and clutching her rake asks "Should we get out and start cleaning?". To which Abuelita Anita responds "Oh no, I just wanted to show it to you. I have to go into town. Maybe you can come back another time. I will make you fresh lemonade from the trees in my yard."
So, by the time we get back into town everyone is finished. Anita heads into the supermarket and we go back to the apartment to get ready to go to David. Not only did she save us from a thrilling hour and a half of picking up garbage but she essentially bought us ice cream to boot! While everyone else was toiling away we were enjoying a pleasant duro-filled hour with our Panamanian grandma. Thanks Abuelita Anita!
(The promise of fresh lemonade may be too much to pass up so I may have to field an expedition to go back there.)
Notes: I finally got some pictures of the bus so I'll write one up about the bus soon. I also want to do one about the craptacular city of David. I'll need pictures though. I'd love to get pictures of the natives, especially the kids but I'm scared.
The English program is really great so far. So is working at the orphanage.
Super Bowl - I'm rooting for the Saints. I know this is old news but what the hell is wrong with Brett Favre? You know he did that so he can play another year.