Second Week in Boquete
Trip Start Feb 05, 2009
15Trip End Mar 06, 2009
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Monday and Tuesday back to school. The people at HablaYa have been helpful in many ways. They answer questions and arrange trips and special events for the students.I have heard so much new vocabulary and have been studying lots of grammar, but my conversion skills have a long way to improve. My teacher Monica only speaks Spanish, so at times I struggle to communicate. Class and homework take a lot of my day. The internet spot and Romeroīs Supermarcado and other grocery stores in town also consume more of my time than you would expect. Itīs really interesting to visit the various markets and shops in town learning new Spanish words and seeing different types of foods. A lot of them I write in my notebook and then find out what the words mean by looking them up or asking in class.
Some foods are just as expensive or more so here than at home. A small can of good cashews cost $5.50, a small yogurt cost .70, and wine is similarly priced. Coffee is cheap like $2 in town. You can eat at a Panamanian restarant for $3, but in a restaurant that attracts tourists about $7-9. Beer is about $1 each or $2 in Amigos bar. Most of the local Panamaneans and idigenous people eat lots of rice and beans of various types, some eggs and milk, some meat, mainly chicken. Rice and beans are cheap here, and they are served with various Panamanean sauces such as picante tomato. Plantains (patacones are fried platanos) are popular, too. Last night students had dinner at Refugio del Rio, where we had chicken with the thin, spicy tomato sauce, delicious fresh potato salad, and patacones. We ate outside on a veranda where it was really windy, typical weather here in Boquete. Walking back home all the lights went out, including the street lights, but you could really see the stars. Try navigating down a strange road in complete darkness. Fortunately, they werenīt out long, and I made it back safely.
There are 3 idigeous peoples here in Panama: the Kuna in San Blas where Mike and I plan to visit, the Embera in the Darien province (famous for their baskets that hold water), and the Gnobe Bugle around Boquete. The indigenous Gnobe are everywhere here. The women and girls wear very colorful dresses, but the men dress like other Panamanean men in American-style clothes. The men often wear woven bags over their shoulders (like a purse) and they are decorated with colorful designs woven in, quite artistically. The frequent use of triangles symbolizes the mountains of their origen.