Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First few days in Panama City with a seven year old

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Panama - the land of girls wearing clothes that look like they have been spray painted on ..
...jeans and tops so tight. 
I wonder how they can breathe. 
I wonder how they do not die in the heat. 
If I walk down the road. 
I get about 50 truck drivers leaning out the windows and leering and beeping. 
 Lust is in the air with the men. 
And so is music in the air. 

Day 1:
The music pumps so loudly I cannot hear my new friend telling me all about Panama.
As we take the local bus to Panama City, we are semi-crushed in the aisle as we hold on.
Feathers decorate the transformed old school bus front windscreen interior.
The exterior is airbrushed with vivid patterns. 
Some scary. Some religious. Some just seem strange to me!
There is always a woman's name on the bus - maybe a tribute to the owners dead mother, or his beloved wife.
We have been staying at JUCUM.
A Christian mission I was associate with when I was in my early 20's.
I wrote and asked if we could stay.
We needed to find our feet in Panama.
We have made some instant friendships.
I love the card and goodies they left as a welcome on our bed when we arrived.
It said "we hope you feel a part of our family". 
 We definitely did.

Day 2: 
I found myself wanting to help.
So my Random Acts of Kindness kicked in.
I decided the men's leaders dorm needed a woman's touch - it was a disgrace.
So I tidied, cleaned and re-arranged the bedroom.
Then went to work on their kitchenette and bathroom - even the fridge.
This took all day - but I felt good to be kind.
These guys were away helping to build a base in the Darien the dangerous area of Panama.
So it was nice to be able to given them a clean home - was the Mum in me I guess.

Day 3:
We decided to go to the local Union mission church run by an American.
Here we were welcomed and met a lovely mix of people.
Gamboa is right by the Panama Canal.
They have a heart for tourists, and we met and talked with all sorts of great people.
Here I met 2 lovely Kuna tribe ladies.

Off we head in the mini van for a bit of outdoor fun.

We are all prepared for a swim.
I laugh as my son dons his "budgie smuggler" Speedo's.
He is a good swimmer and can't stand shorts around his legs when he swims.
His white legs looks so skinny.
After this we head to the Soberania National Park.
We haggle a group deal to the Agua Salud waterfalls.
Here we do some hiking.

My poor ol' boy is tired.  
He falls over and skins his knee and shins on the slippery rocks til he is in tears.

So we give up the hiking and head back to the pool area for the kids to swim.

The water is pretty murky and I do wonder about germs.

We return to the base.
Things get worse.
He has decided to be friends with the wild chickens.
He has named the Mum "Flapper", and the baby "Henry".
In trying to give them food, the Mamma attacks him on the leg.

That night as I put him to bed he has a temperature and a cough.
We have been from snow to tropics, and he is ill.
I had a feeling.
His slipping and falling over, and the way he was acting.
I could see he was tired, but now I realise he was getting sick.

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