This is our second Thanksgiving here in Boquete. As you know, it isnt a holiday in Panama, so Thursday was a work day for our crew of eight guys. Which meant that Scott and I had to work too. Luckily our friends all agreed they would wait for us to join them on Saturday instead of Thursday. We have such great friends! Although Thursday was not a holiday here for the Panamanians, this weekend is a huge holiday , its their second Independence Day (they also celebrate their independence from Columbia). This weekend they celebrate their Independence from Spain and boy is it festive in town. We’ve heard a rumor that the President is staying in Boquete for the weekend, I don’t know if its true but one things for sure, there are tons of tourists here. The town is humming with celebratory energy. They’ve decorated the entire town square with banners and streamers zig-zagging all over the place. The central park has been getting a facelift for the last few months as well. All the park benches have been painted and the planters have all been freshened up with new flowers. Some of the big huge trees were cut down and they planted a whole bunch of new palm trees all around the park. There are lots of beautiful flowers now and even the big fountain is running. A wonderful new addition to the park is a collection of beautifully hand carved tree stumps. I don’t know if they were done by multiple artists but I do know there is one guy in town who has carved many such pieces of art all over town, so I would assume it was him who has contributed his handiwork to the beautification of the park.
Last night (Thurs) at 8p.m. was the beginning of the festivities, with a parade, the first of many that will go on throughout the weekend. There will be a smaller parade that takes place I believe today(Friday), for all the local Boquete schools. Marching bands are a huge deal in Panama. And Boquete hosts all the bands from all over the entire country for a giant competition of drumming this weekend. The big parade, I believe is on Sunday…all day Sunday, beginning in the morning and ending at 11:00 p.m.! They love their parades! And as I’ve said, the town is humming with tons of cars and people and the busses are beginning to arrive from all over the country. Busses loaded with marching bands. You can feel the energy all around town as everyone is happily looking forward to celebrations that go on until the wee hours of the early mornings. One of the many things I love about living here is the passion that the Panamanians have for their celebrations! We’ll be hearing drumming, non stop this weekend and I’m sure a lot of fireworks and loud music too. And this little town in the mountains will be filled with people from all over Panama. Saturday through Tuesday our workers are off work so we will be working by ourselves this weekend.
So our Belated Thanksgiving looks like it will be a nice one and I’m really looking forward to it. Scott is preparing the Turkey and Mashed Potatoes as well as homemade Parker house rolls. Luana loves to cook as well and has a spectacular menu of sides in store for us, Carrot coconut soup, herbed stuffing, and a portabello spinach dish. Bond is the official “Mix-Master”…he’s been working on some special holiday cocktails! Andrea is bringing a green salad and Cynthia has yet to announce her contribution. But given the fact that Cynthia and James have very recently relocated to Boquete and their container of personal possessions has just arrived this week, they should just take it easy and enjoy the day! But we also have another friend coming to our dinner, Raquel. She lives in Vocan which is about 45 min to an hour away, on the other side of the Volcano from here. I’ve written about her in the past. Raquel is an animal rescuer and I’ve visited her on many occasions. She has two sloths who she has raised from babies and many Coatamundis ,raccoons, a coyote, monkeys…and many other creatures I can’t remember them all. Bond had the idea to see if she would like to join us for our belated Thanksgiving and she was delighted to be invited and accepted our invitation. So, I was wondering if she would bring an animal with her, she has one cotamundi , named Bownie that I particularly like so I thought she might bring him along. But no, I was wrong…she called the other day to ask if anyone would mind if she brought the newest member of her menagerie …a four week old howler monkey! Hah! Apparently baby monkeys live on their mothers for the first six months of their lives and she has bonded to Raquel and resides in her hair so Raquel can’t leave her. Yes, the monkey stays in her hair all the time. And just in case your wondering….the monkey wears a diaper, ahem…good to know, right! I can’t think of a more wonderful guest for our holiday celebration than a baby monkey! Should be interesting…
Our Second Thanksgiving in Boquete with our friends looks like it just may be the beginning of what may be new traditions for us. As I’m finishing typing this post Its Saturday morning and we are at Bond & Luana’s house. We came over early to get the turkey going and enjoy a leisurely breakfast together! Luana made grits and bond made bacon and eggs while Scott got the turkey all prepped an popped into the oven. What was I doing? Well, observing all the action… of course…didn’t want to add another body to the already full kitchen! Hah! And, I set the table! After breakfast Scott made the dough for the rolls and set it aside to rise. Luana already made her lemon pie and she bought pecan and pumpkin from our wonderful local bakery, Sugar & Spice. Now its time to just luxuriate with our friends and enjoy another gorgeous day up here in the mountains in Panama. When the rest of our friends arrive we can have some drinks, maybe play a game or two and I see that Bond has pre-built a fire in the outside fireplace on their terrace living room. Yep, we’ve got the makings of a wonderful day of enjoying so much and feeling incredibly thankful for an unending list of things that make us happy, healthy and oh yeah….I’m sure very full! No one will go hungry in this house today!