Last night after dinner, we decided to go down to the town square and buy an ice cream cone. We hadn’t gone there for awhile and Carla, the owner, had recently moved the store to a new place right across the town square, a much better location than the previous one down the road. We have always enjoyed the many flavors, about 6 – 8 (yes, it’s not Baskin Robbins), and you can buy “una bola” (one large scoop) for $1. They sell sundaes and drinks too. It had been off-and-on drizzling that afternoon with neighborhood children playing “futbol” in front of our house on the street, but the rain seemed to have stopped that evening, although I couldn’t be certain because it was dark. But I saw a few stars in the distant sky, so we decided to take our chances and walk with Bella, our dog, to town, about 6 blocks.
When we arrived, we found the town square bustling with lots of people and street vendors. It was Día de Santa Catalina, and the celebration basically started that evening with mass at the Catholic Church which faces toward the town plaza. The doors were wide open with people crowded at the doorway, and speakers were set up outside so all could hear the music and priest’s message. We bought our ice cream, then walked to the middle of the square and listened. Although I could not understand what the priest was saying, I certainly enjoyed the music. When mass was over, two high school bands were lined up on the side street next to the plaza and started playing their drums. The priest and others came out and were followed by many of the townspeople holding candles, small floats with religious statues and the marching bands playing their instruments. The processional continued up the street from the plaza and proceeded down several roads in town, eventually ending back at the town square. A fireworks display and singing followed. This went on to about midnight. We are not Catholic, so we just stood on the side and observed. Since this is our first year here, we enjoy learning about the traditions and cultural celebrations of the area.
We walked home before the festivities ended, but could still hear the music and see the fireworks in the sky from our house. Not being tired, we decided to watch some Netflix shows on TV. Then the rain started; again it was so loud we could hardly hear the TV even with the volume turned up all the way. Thunder and lightening accompanied the rain as usual. Then suddenly we decided to go to bed, not because I was sleepy and it was late, but with one very close lightening strike and loud thunder, the electricity went out and all was dark. This time it wasn’t the whole town; we could see lights on across the field behind our house. So we had water. But we were prepared. I had my iPad nearby which helped light our way to our lantern and flashlights. I had not realized it was 1am until then-haven’t stayed up that late in a long time. So off to sleep in the pitch-black dark. Luckily this time the electricity was back on before we woke in the morning. But the thunder, lightening, and rain continued into the morning. There has been so much thunder & lightening here, much more than rainstorms where I used to live in the Sierra foothills of California. Of course there is a lot more rain here during the wet season than a whole year in Northern California; probably more here this month than a year there. I would think I would be used to it by now, but sometimes it is so loud and close, I just jump out of my seat.
Today, an electrician is scheduled to come and add a few more electrical outlets in our home. Many homes are built with very few outlets. Presently our TV and home theatre system is connected to a long extension cord which winds around through the bedroom to an outlet. Mikkel bought all the wiring and equipment to install a few outlets, being the handyman he is. But after seeing the way things are wired in our home, he did not want to mess with it. Paying a Panamanian electrician would be worth it. So hopefully it will all work out, but not sure it will happen today with this rain. Again, you never know what will happen any day here in “Our Third Life” in Pedasí. But as Thanksgiving Day in the US approaches, I certainly am thanking God for this life.