It’s been an exciting week in what is normally a sleepy little town in western Chiriquí.
It started off on Monday with a visit to town by the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela. It was to acknowledge a program that provides decent housing to the poor throughout the country. It’s called Techos de Esperanza (Roofs of Hope). It’s sort of Panama’s version of Habitat for Humanity. As I’ve said elsewhere in this blog, there are a lot of people living in what we in the States would consider to be “shacks.” Dirt-floor structures, split bamboo sides and rusty tin roofing.
It has been raining here in Panama for days on end which is extremely unusual, but it’s because of Tropical Storm Oscar off a tiny bit north of us in the western Caribbean. Interestingly, the rain stopped while Varela was in the covered basketball courts in the town park less than a 100 yards from my front door.
I heard a lot of noise next door. A ton of people milling around. I went out on the front porch to see what it was all about, and there was Varela sitting at my neighbor’s table enjoying a bite to eat before heading into David (dah VEED).
As soon as he finished and shook hands all around he got in his car and headed down the hill and it started to rain. I tried to get him to come back so I could bring the clothes that have been hanging out on the back porch for nearly a week trying could finally be brought inside. They’re still out there.
There was a short break in the weather Tuesday morning so I made a mad dash into the city to do some grocery shopping and pay a couple of bills. I didn’t pay the electric bill last month since it was never delivered, but I got an e-bill this month. Had to go pay arrears. Two month’s electric bill came to $31.39. Eat your hearts out gringos of the Great White North.
When I got home, around 3:00 in the afternoon I saw this sign that had just been put up while I was absent…
For those of you who are monoglots (great word, eh?) It’s announcing the sixth stage of Panama’s equivalent of theTour de France coming up on Wednesday. (Doesn’t everyone spell Wednesday out in their heads as they write it down?) Oh, yeah, and I was only in the house for about ten minutes before it started pouring again.
Around 8 a.m. the teams started arriving and getting ready for the race…
The finish line set up near the town hall…
Policeman directing traffic away from the finish area and doing it in the rain….
The leaders sprint to the finish about three and a half hours after the start…And it’s ALL uphill from El Cruce three kilometers away at the InterAmericana Highway…
About five minutes later the pelotón showed up to finish…
As far as I know nothing else is happening of any note this week. Next Monday, though, celebrates Panama’s SECOND Independence Day but I believe all the parades and hoopla are taking place elsewhere.
One response to “Exciting Week in Boquerón”
I have seen Techos de Esperanza here too. There was a community of shacks in the south part of town in what I was told is the former site of the dump. Now they are almost finished building them all small but sturdy block houses.
Lots of fun stuff going on in your neighborhood lately! Can you imagine in the US the president meeting at the basketball court, and then just stopping by a local’s house to eat?
What is up with all this rain?? Otto is long gone and still it continues.