It was a great holiday weekend here! It started Friday night. Joel’s band had a gig in Boquete. I went along and saw some good friends, enjoyed the music, and had a really nice evening. Even the drive up was beautiful.
I love the clouds hovering over the mountains
I never could figure out why police and emergency vehicles often drive with their flashing lights on. For quite a while we thought we were being pulled over, but they just drive right on by. Now we have learned to not be so concerned.
Mountains, clouds, and blue sky
Saturday was Christmas Eve. Some friends came to visit in the afternoon and we enjoyed some nice time sitting under our trees and chatting. Later in the evening we were invited to the home of a good friend in the next town up the road. This is a neighborhood of young families. Kids were playing in the street, setting off firecrackers, riding bikes, and showing off the LED lighted shoes that have become the latest “must have” thing. Dinner was rice and guandu (pigeon peas), potato salad, pork, and tamales, a very traditional holiday dinner. It’s all piled on a plate in the kitchen and handed out to the guests, and it was really delicious. They moved the living room furniture to the front yard which was comfortable and fun, and we enjoyed a few hours of relaxation and conversation.
Hanging out in the front yard enjoying the evening
They had a computer hooked up to speakers to provide the music
My friend’s son plays with her phone
Many kids had the lighted shoes.
Later we came back to our neighborhood to enjoy the fireworks with our neighbors. Christmas eve is the biggest celebration here. People set off fireworks climaxing around midnight. Then, after midnight, everyone wishes everyone Feliz Navidad, they open gifts, and then have dinner with the family.
When we returned the kids across the street were setting off fountains and roman candles. The gal on the corner shared delicious carrot cakes that she had made for everyone. Other people in the neighborhood set off some really beautiful fireworks and we saw a few floating balloons. Those are so pretty! They are little hot air balloons with a fire underneath so they glow in the sky as they float overhead. When midnight passed we returned to our house, but I could still hear fireworks going off for more than an hour. I’ve heard that in some places that goes on for most of the night!
Sunday was Christmas day, usually a fairly quiet day especially for those who partied late into the night. We were invited to another family dinner by another friend, so we set off in the early afternoon. This was a large Panamanian family of siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, and cousins that I never got entirely straight. It was really interesting to see the photos of all the parents and grandparents on the wall and learn a bit about the history of the family. It was a great house and property with lots of sitting areas perfect for relaxing and chatting.
Dinner was excellent, partly potluck but still quite traditional – rice and guandu, potato salad, green salad, turkey and stuffing (with green olives and raisins), broccoli and cauliflower, and tamales again all piled on a plate and served to the guests. No one goes hungry around here at Christmas!
Hanging out on the terrace enjoying the day
It was a beautiful property with a large yard, and view of David in the distance
Yummy dinner. I didn’t think to take a photo until after I’d eaten the vegetables.
Everyone was enjoying each others company
After dinner a lot of the kids had a fun and noisy time in the pool
Panamanian families for the most part seem to get along peacefully. Of course there are relationship breakups and other problems that happen everywhere, but both of the families we spent time with felt happy, people were affectionate with each other, and seemed very happy and relaxed in each others company. We were also welcomed with such friendly smiles and genuine hospitality by both the people we knew and those we were meeting for the first time. I so appreciate that we were invited to these dinners. It was a really special time for us.
Next up, welcoming in the New Year!
Of course I can’t leave without sharing a bug and some wildlife 😀
Joel found this katydid with really long feelers in the kitchen.
This iguana likes to walk across the roof and jump into the fruit tree. It’s surprising how much noise a little creature can make on a metal roof.
This beautiful hawk flew silently through the yard and landed on the utility pole.