I am spending Christmas up on the side of the mountain in Potrerillos Arriba. The owners of the house and a couple from Montana who have a house a little way up the road are taking a small vacation to an island about an hour drive and a half hour boat ride away and asked me if I’d come and take care of the dog while they’re gone.
I left Boquerón about three yesterday afternoon and rode into the terminal in David and missed the bus to Arriba by about two minutes. The bus to Abajo came shortly after and I decided to take that and bum a ride from the Montana couple who were also invited to a Christmas dinner prepared by the lady of the house.
As it happened my bus passed the Arriba bus just after we passed Dolega and we arrived at the stop where the road diverges to the two small pueblos well ahead of the bus I’d missed. I’d called ahead to the Montana couple when we left the terminal and they agreed to pick me up. Now I couldn’t back out on them and as I was waiting and the Arriba bus arrived the driver got out and came over to me and asked where I’d been since he hadn’t seen me in over a month. I thought that was very nice. Real small town stuff and it’s a good feeling to know that in some small way, just riding up and down the mountain I’d become an actual part of the community at large.
I said I’d be back in the middle of May, we wished each other a “Feliz Navidad” and he got back in his bus and continued on his way.
We had a great meal and I once again got to sit out on the front porch with my morning cup of coffee and enjoy the incredible view down to the Pacific Ocean below. Life has been good this past year here in Panama. I’m looking forward to 2011.