Although we did not travel anywhere new, I thought I might share about our day that included our short travel to Las Tablas.
Today is Panama’s Independence Day from Columbia. Like 4th of July in the U.S, Panama goes out to celebrate and Pedasí is no exception. Here the fireworks and partying starts at midnight on November 3rd and goes on all day into the next night. Actually, with National holidays following for Flag Day on November 4th, Colon Day on November 5th, and Shout at La Villa de Los Santos Day on November 10th, the partying goes on all week, through the weekend, and into the next week. Many families members from Panama City come to the interior this week to celebrate with their family. Our town of “tranquilo” once again becomes full of people and much activity. Yesterday was “Dia de los difuntos” (know as Day of the Dead or All Souls Day). Traditionally it is a very quiet day in respect of those who have passed.
At around 10:15pm that night, the electricity went out in the pueblo. We are getting used to power outages. So that was our sign to go to bed. But at midnight, the silence was over and the fireworks began along with the loud music from the center of town about 4 blocks away. So much for sleep, although Mikkel slept right through it.
Although the music stopped at 3am, it picked up the next morning. There was a small parade of the children from the Pedasí school along with the queens that marched through town up past the townsquare and around the salud (health center) and then back past the townsquare on the other side. And the party in the center of town continued. Tonight in our barrio, our neighbors next to us and behind us are having home parties. And then there’s the cantina around the corner from our house.
Mikkel and I were invited to a birthday party at a friend’s home in Las Tablas. So around noontime we walked over to catch the bus which finally showed up at 1PM. We squeezed in with everyone else, riding in a crowded van with no AC or shocks-an experience, but typical for the Pedasí-Las Tablas bus. It started raining just as we left Pedasí. Just before we arrived in Las Tablas, we met up with a car parade; there was probably 50+ cars decked out with red, white, and blue balloons (Panama’s flag colors) entering the road from a side street. We inched our way down the road. We were within two buildings away from where our friend Tim was to meet us and drive us to the party when we came to a complete standstill. I asked the driver to let me off here instead of the original destination, and he said no. But then Tim drove up where we were; I explained that “mi amigo está agui” and he finally took my money and let us out. We had a good time at the birthday party, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Got a ride with some friends who had come to the party back to Pedasí. Darn! Missed another bus ride adventure. But the music and fireworks continue into the night.