Now, with the title of this blog, you may think that I’m referring to the beach, however, that’s actually not the case. But I’ll come back to that, first, the beach. Elly and I decided to journey to a town on the Pacific the weekend of June 15th, instead of joining most of the other interns in San Blas. This is the first time that I travelled outside our little bubble that is San Miguel, Veintecuatro, and Panama City. After the laborious (9 hour,3 bus rides and one taxi ride) journey, we made it to the quaint little town of Pedasi. We were able to secure a hostel, pizza, and colorful headbands our first night in the town.
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But it’s really the trek we made the next morning that sticks in my mind: a 30-minute walk down a lone dirt road in the rain to the beach. That’s right, we walked to the beach in the rain, and it was surprisingly fantastic.
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If there are a few essentials that are needed in Panama, it’s a sense of adventure, patience, and the ability to keep going when you have no idea what is going on, all of which I used during this expedition. Elly and I made to the beach, our clothes properly dosed from the rain, to find a survivor like shanty set up.
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Now, its possible to think that going to the beach in the rain wouldn’t exactly be the way Elly and I would want to spend our Saturday. But even in the rain, Playa de Torro was beautiful, and we were able to enjoy ourselves, somewhat due to the face that we felt like we were on Survivor: Pedasi Edition.
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Other Pedasi activities included: a sinful chocolate soufflé, an even more sinful Swedish massage, and some completely American and greasy french fries. We got back to our sweet town of San Miguel to find it filled with people doe the Father’s Day celebration. And in San Miguel, is where I found paradise.
Paradise is a place that the three E’s (Evan, Erick , and Elly) and I stumbled upon during a walk about the town. It’s a yard full of boisterous children and a generous lady, her welcoming mother and thoughtful father. We came into the yard as strangers, just out for a walk, and were ushered into the yard and welcomed like I have never experienced. The family knew we were a part of Kalu Yala, and immediately began showing us around their yard. The word yard gives absolutely no credit to what they have, hence why I have dubbed it paradise. I have been able to experience some amazing sites since being in Panama, but this one was one of the best. The beautiful Panamanian mountains as a backdrop, with a cornfield, fruit trees, and vegetable patches littering the land, created quite the picture. The fact that the landscape was incredible is only a part of the reason I refer to this place of paradise; the other is the way the family opened up to us. During our first few minutes of arrival, after Elly mentioned her extreme affection for guava fruit, the family began what I only described as a giving spree. They offered so much to us, who were virtual strangers. The list includes sugar cane, guava, passion fruit, eggs, avocado, and a tasty concoction of berries with the consistency of applesauce. They allowed Elly to play with their children, Erick to play with their dogs, and treated us like we were old friends. Its not as though I’ve been treated poorly in other homes, in fact everyone brings out chairs, insist we sit, and graciously receive us. This particular experience was just that on overdrive and was absolutely wonderful. I plan on going back many times to visit, I want to be able to build a real relationship with these people, and not only be treated as an old friend, but actually be one.