Thursday, April 7, 2011

BACK TO THE BASICS

Today was my first full day back in Boquete after seeing the U.S. for the first time since I moved here.

Last night, as I pulled up to the gate there was a man walking down the hill and entering my front yard.  When he saw me he stopped and came up to me.  It was my gardener.  Turns out he had been sleeping in the hammock on the back porch every night, guarding my place.  I had not asked him to do this.  This is just one example of the kindness the Panamanians have shown me.

This morning I awoke to a brand new world:  new birds, new flowers, and a new rainy season, all changed during the time I was away.  The rain waiting until the night to fall.  This is a good sign - hopefully it will stay this way.

I haven't begun to look at the new birds yet.  From the sound of them there are many small songbirds.  This evening I went to a presentation on photography by Tito Herrera at a friend's house high up Jaramillo Mountain with a direct view of Volcan Baru through the mist.  It was wonderful to see my photographer friends, and the view was breathtaking

It is great to be back after the emotional intensity of the stateside visit.  Meeting with some of my former students for lunch in Rockville, Maryland last weekend, produced major culture shock.  Rockville is a product of the sprawling growth which is fed by the sprawling growth of the Federal government.  There was nonstop commercial development - one shopping center after another - for miles.  It was dizzying, sickening.

So here I am writing this in my little house in Boquete, feeling so glad to be back to a kinder, simpler life.  I never thought I could love a simple place so much.

New Heliconia in Front:
One of Three

The Three New Heliconia Blooms:
All emerged while I was away
Another type of heliconia
in the rear has really taken off
since the gardener thinned the bamboo
around it.

The lovely but poisonous Datura (Angel's Trumpet)
is thriving next door so I can enjoy it at a distance.

Bananas that were cut down to
build the fence grew about a foot,
are now about as tall as the house.
They will get much taller.

One of the hibiscus plants I bought
just before I left has come out well
The other new hibiscus, a double one, is also thriving.
The neighbor - a kolancho? - transplanted from
the gardener's yard is now blooming for the first time.

My favorite - the torch ginger -
has put out several new shoots,
a sign of flowers to come.
-bjd

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