Posted by: luisabaldwin | January 3, 2010

BOQUETE, PANAMA CHRISTMAS SEASON

We’re exhausted!  What can I say – Boquete rocks during the Christmas season!  As one lady that I met at one of the many Christmas parties said, “Give me a break.  I need time to recuperate before the next party.”  In addition to all the private parties just about every restaurant, hotel, and country club had an event.  Oh yes, we made many very nice new friends this Christmas season and enjoyed some great times.

Although the little local department store was jammed with Christmas reasons to spend money, we didn’t ever see anyone roaming around town with shopping bags.  Maybe they all take the buses down to David for that, I don’t know.  But here in Boquete there was a distinct lack of commercialism.  However, the local Boquetenos did celebrate.  Christmas Eve brought Fourth of July-like fire works as everybody looked forward to celebrating the day Jesus was born.  Panama is a Catholic country and many take their religion quite seriously.   Excitement was in the air.  On Christmas day the town held a big parade and all the families brought their children.  Even the local x-pat dog rescue organization held a place in the parade.

On Christmas Eve, we walked into a party to a greeting by somebody who ran up to us and said,

“So what did you cook for us Luisa?  You know, you’re getting the reputation of being the finest baker in Boquete!”

They dove into that apple crisp, and as I was later passing it by, I found it to be half demolished before our dinner of barbecued filet-minion and baked potatoes. I was promptly informed that they had to get a serving or it would all by gone by dessert time.  Maybe I should give myself a new name, The Barefoot Boquetena (Barefoot Contessa for all you cooks).  Why, I even got a marriage proposal out of the deal!

The fire pit at the guesthouse on Finca Dos Jefes

We did, however, get a break but only for Christmas Day and then they all started up again.   So Christmas Day, we were quite content to spend at home enjoying the inspiring view from our little casita.

The view from our casita at Finca Dos Jefes

That evening we had a perfectly lit star-studded sky and we started a huge bon fire in the fire pit. To round off the evening, we cranked up Don Henley on our new Bose speakers.  No, we’re not mobile anymore!  Now we have a printer, car, and stereo speakers, which hook right up to our laptop.  Good thing I copied our music library onto the laptop before we packed up all our CDs.  But the speakers were worth it.  It’s always nice to have your favorite tunes coming through good quality speakers.  We just had a good well-deserved quiet time enjoying the fire and the stars along with a dessert of musical treats.

Boquete got through the gap between Christmas and New Year’s with, well you guessed it, more parties all the way up into New Years Eve which produced yet more parties as did New Years Day.  On New Years Eve we went to a neighbor’s home and shot off fireworks.  Yes, here’s another area without regulation.  Fireworks are totally legal and can be purchased in the grocery store, albeit at a stiff price.  I guess the government figures people are adult enough to manage the safety aspects of setting off fireworks.  We certainly didn’t hear the Bombero’s (fire station) ambulance once that evening.  A lot of people here use them but we had the special ones that shoot way up in the sky and light it up with beautiful colorful cascades of color.

We had the good stuff on New Year's Eve!

Even Rich, who was having a howling good time at his New Year’s Eve party up at the new roasting house on the Finca dos Jefes, could see them.  It was a thrilling and fun thing to set off the fireworks for the enjoyment of all who lived up on the slopes of Volcan Baru!  That howling good time at Rich’s party, by the way, extended all the way past midnight when everybody at the party shot off even more fireworks.  Jim heard it all and went out to enjoy the sights but me?  Well, by then I was dead to the world and slept through the whole thing.

OK, we got through the most social Christmas season in memory.  I expect that things should quiet down now only, realistically speaking  now that I’ve gotten to know Boquete a little better, I’m pretty sure those parties are going to morph into dinner invitations.  We only have one gathering to go to on Thursday!  My, you sure do need a calendar in Boquete.

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