What does a Texan and a rodeo have in common….well pretty much everything. When I heard there was a big rodeo in, Mamoni, a neighboring community of San Miguel, I knew I had to be there. Ian, Joe, Zac Bron and Kari also shared my enthusiam, so after a few nights hanging with the valley crew we all hiked out to make a day of the rodeo.
Knowing how Panamanians like to party, I had a feeling it was going to be quite an event. We could even feel the energy in San Miguel as more and more trucks started showing up bringing in people from near by communities and the city. With loads of trucks coming through San Miguel it wasn’t hard to find a ride. Being the girls of the group, Kari and I were immediately offered a ride and found ourselves in a spiny burnt orange hummer with some high up Panamanian government officials. We chuckled as we left the boys behind to find another ride. But, after the first couple serious hills it became apparent to us that our new city slicker friends did not know how to handle the serious hills in the hummer. Even with 4-wheel drive the hummer was not cutting it. At the bottom of one hill we saw the boys cruise by in the back of a tiny truck and wished we had not opted for the flash over dependability. Soon we abandoned ship, thanked the city folk for getting us that far and jumped into the back of a cattle truck. As Kari and I bumped along, we realized we felt much more at home in the back of the truck, rust, dirt, smell and all. After a beautiful thirty minute ride we finally arrived.
Right away we were drawn to the show ring, and met Omar, a city slicker who held some authoritative position and immediately bought us all a round of Soberana. As soon as the boys said they wanted to ride a bull we were all ushered over to the real action. Bron was the first to go and blew all the locals away as he held his own in the pin.
From there Joe took a try and then Kari, probably the first girl they have ever seen try to ride a bull. Ian gave it a try horseback and after a few hours the boys were stars, everyone high fiving and welcoming the gringos into their world.
As the night progressed and the party moved around the stage were we listened to the live music, ate great food and met so many friendly people. We all had no idea what to expect, but it was a night to remember! Panama knows how to do rodeos, Texas approved.