Happy One Week anniversary to US!!!!

Trip Start Jun 27, 2009
Trip End Jul 09, 2009

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Flag of Panama  , Bocas del Toro,
Saturday, July 4, 2009

Our last day before heading to Bocas Town to hook up with Gregorio at the house we're renting near Salt Creek on the other side of Bastimentos.

In between trying to escape the rain and the army ants, we decided to go to the local Ngobe restaurant and school to get to know the culture a bit more and pick up some goodies. There is a small thatched roof hut on water’s edge filled with two long tables and chairs made out of tree trunks.  Think tree stump with a back.  They were beautiful and heavy.  Who greeted us first was "chi chi" a four year old boy, son of Milton.  He motioned for us to “come, come”  he had a baby boa he wanted us to see.  This little boy, let me tell you, has a smile that forces even the stone faced to smile back.  He definitely lights up a room.  Very curious about us, he just smiled and giggled as Sue and I looked through some of the Ngobe arts to see if there was something we wanted to buy. We each picked up a handmade traditional Ngobe dress for our flower girls, these dresses are like little sundresses, they’re hand dyed and then sewn with a rickrack type cording to signify the hills and valleys.  The Ngobe are from the Comarcas (reservation) as well the Mangroves, but the largest of the population still lives in the Comarcas.  We’ll see them on our way to the mountains in Boquete.  We also picked up a small purse for ourselves.  These purses are made out of the fibers from a leaf that is woven together with different patterns depicting scenes in nature.

After making our purchases, we headed back to look at the school that has been set up.  It’s been a pet project of Henry and Margaret, the owners of La Loma.  We got to look in the classrooms and see where lunch was made.  Actually, breakfast and lunch since they learned that when they started to cook lunch, some of these kids began school so hungry that when they smelled the food cooking, they’d lose all concentration.  So they serve breakfast and lunch and cook over a wood burning “stove”.  It was really interesting to see all of this, there were Disney characters on the wall with thought bubbles of encouragement.  We learned that paper and pens are in high demand.  And if anyone wants to contribute to this school, go to the La Loma website and you can make a contribution to Henry and Margaret’s foundation.

As we were walking around I showed Chichi how to take a picture with Scott’s camera.  He snapped a couple of good ones of Scott.  By the way, Chichi, has no name yet.  They wait until the children are 3 -5 to name them to see what their personality dictates their name should be.  Really cool concept I think. 

 So as we waited for Kelly to pick us up to take us back to Bocas Town, Scott decided to take a hand at showing Chichi how to shoot his camera.  Well….Chichi liked it so much that he really didn’t want to give it back.  He had such a strong grasp on it, he was not letting it go without  a fight.  In a good way, he was just interested and loved being able to see what he just took.  We all thought that maybe Scott gave him enough of a taste to inspire him on a future path.  Who knows, maybe 20 years from now, we’ll be seeing photo’s from Chichi in Photo digest?

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