Saturday, 17 April 2010

Grandma comes to the San Blas

The Kuna Yala archipelago stretches from Colon to Colombia on the Caribbean side of Panama. At Panama City domestic airport on my first day here I met an amazing cross section of the small dark skinned natives. The women’s distinctive dress comprising of a colorful reverse appliquéd blouse, nose ring, red head scarf, and colorful beaded leg wraps is a sharp contrast to their children’s modern trendy clothes. Men are in western clothes. Young children are doted on and play freely and happily. A precious albino toddler was dressed in western style party dress. Three hundred and sixty five small white sandy islands are either unoccupied or jam packed with straw huts. We can see 20 from our breakfast table. Every day friendly fishermen approach our boat in their dug out canoes selling fresh fish, vegetables, bread and molas (reverse appliquéd blouse material) for US$. There are a few signs such as cell phones that, however hard the Kuna try, western culture is encroaching into their lives. It appears to me that the High Five V crew loves their lifestyle even more on this second trip. Every day school comes first, then enjoying whatever the day may bring. All the boys are now accomplished sailors and enjoy putting the sail up at every opportunity. Not a great number of cruisers spend time here; most are heading straight to the canal to cross the Pacific before the hurricane season begins. Never the less the boys have played beach soccer with Italian, French, and Brazilians of all ages. About once a week a boater will organize a pot luck supper where food, information and entertainment are shared. Bradley and Tavish played, guitar, fiddle and sang, for a very appreciative crowd this week. It’s been an idyllic holiday where the most energy I’ve expended has been opening and closing the hatches as the rainy season threatens. We’ve found a “restaurant” for Janine’s birthday dinner tomorrow. The following day I fly to Panama City assuming the plane is airborne before the runway becomes ocean. Janine’s mother arrives the next day to visit and crew through the Panama Canal and then High Five heads north. THANKS HIGH FIVE FOR A WONDERFUL VISIT. Grandma/Mom/Ladora

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