Third Christmas In Boquerón

This is the third Christmas I’ve spent in Boquerón, Panama. Christmas Eve was a little different than the previous two in that no carolers appeared to sing for anyone in the neighborhood.

In the early evening  my next door neighbor brought me a delicious plate of arroz con pollo and the most delicious platanos maduros I’ve ever put in my mouth. Another neighbor invited me up to her house for hot chocolate and some moña bread (click here to find out what  moña bread is ) which is a tradition here in Panama. This was the same family that invited me to the wife’s birthday party back in July, and like then, I was the only person outside the family that was invited. When one of Llalla’s daughters and her husband and their two kids arrived. Their little six-year old girl, who I’ve only met a couple of times, came up to me and gave me a warm hug and a hearty “Feliz Navidad.” Really sweet for this old Gringo.

After a couple of hours of trying to follow the rapid-fire Spanish conversation the party broke up and I made my way back to my house having to say, “Feliz Navidad” about a dozen time between Llalla’s gate and my own.

As is the tradition here, people have been setting off fireworks for the past few days. Primarily bottle rockets and Roman candles. But at the stroke of midnight, turning Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, the whole area erupted. An incredible din of fireworks being set off reverberated all over the area. A racket you just have to actually be here for to believe how much money is going up in smoke. The other day I passed by one of the almost endless number of Fuego Artificiales stands and noted that boxes the size of a case of canned Budweiser was selling for about $175. (It’s easy to know what it costs in terms of U.S. Dollars since there’s no need to do any currency conversion since Panama uses the dollar as it’s paper currency. (Officially the currency here is the “Balboa” and the coins, one, five, 10 and 25 coins are the same size, weight and metal content as their gringo equivalents, plus the B/1 coin as well.)

About five minutes after midnight mi barrio’s display began. Judging from the angle from my house I think I know who set off the display. There’s a large house just down the road with a couple of expensive SUVs in the drive most days. I’m sure it was them. The following videos took several HOURS to upload to YouTube this morning. I’m sure their servers were working overtime with people uploading vids of their kids opening presents. The first display was more than six minutes long. Then there was about a 15 or 20 minute delay, though the hills were still echoing with distant detonations, and a nearly three-minute encore ensued. Unfortunately the camera didn’t capture the brilliant colors but you’ll get the idea. Enjoy. I did.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Boqueron Panama, Christmas Eve Fireworks, Living Abroad, Living in Panama

2 responses to “Third Christmas In Boquerón

  1. Those are some pretty fancy fireworks! There haven’t been any around here to speak of for a couple of years because of the droughts. Not only are they banned, most people would take care of any neighbor who tried it – the thought of having a wildfire’s worrying.

    Do they shoot off fireworks on New Year’s eve, too? Or is it mostly a Christmas thing?

    I was amazed at the fireworks my first Christmas here. I looked forward to them the last two. There will be some going off during the coming week but NOTHING like Christmas Eve. There will be a few New Years Eve but Christmas is the night. In the New Orleans area New Years Eve, along with the Fourth of July, is when people shoot off fireworks. I remember on New Years Eve I was spending with my, then, significant other and her kids out in the suburb of Metraire. There were so many fire crackers and bottle rockets that the smoke they produced seemed like a moderate fog in the neighborhood. But there were none like what we see here.

  2. Oh, Lookie here, Richard! I found you something wonderful. Enjoy!

    Thank you so much. I’m putting it “up front” so to speak for people who wouldn’t drop into the comments to see it.