Saturday, June 23, 2012

We're Here! We're Here! We're Here!

Our casita, in the morning light
(Echoes of "Horton Hears a Who" in that title.  He he.)

After a full day of driving through beautiful Panamanian terrain, we arrived in Boquete last night at about 7pm in the pouring rain.  Kind of a bummer -- couldn't really see a thing in town.  Our hosts met us at Las Ruinas restaurant, and we followed them to their casita that we're renting for the week (they rent it also, but they're house- and dog-sitting for someone this month).

We kept telling the girls before we left that this is a casita -- that means "small house".  But apparently they had something grander worked up in their imagination.  Both were disappointed when they saw it.  Hubby and I were satisfied.  Just what we expected.  Not fancy, but signficantly better than a hotel room, especially at $125 for the week.  Arriving in the middle of the rain (and dark -- it felt like it was the middle of the night) was not optimal.  We see now why people around here have dehumidifiers.

This is a very low-key place.  No air conditioning.  No ceiling fans, which would have been nice.  Lots of animals in the neighborhood; we went to sleep to a chorus of dogs and woke up with the chickens.  The stacked washer and dryer are on the back porch -- the lady warned me to do laundry in the morning or it might get rained on.  Very low water pressure on the hot water, but they said we're lucky to have hot water at all -- very few Panamanians use hot water, so very few places have it.  The landline phone only takes incoming calls unless we get a prepaid phone card.  Good internet service, but not wireless.  And cable!  With many, many channels, and about half of them in English, too.  The girls were thrilled to find the Disney Channel.

One of the many flowers in the yard
We let them watch Disney for the rest of the evening because they clearly needed something familiar to anchor them a bit.  Especially one daughter, who had pretty much had it by the time we got here.  She was tired, she was hungry, it was wet, and none of this was what she expected it to be.  Tears flowed.  This was not entirely a surprise.  We knew this would be a culture shock.  After his visit in April, hubby had returned home saying, it's different enough there, we need to all experience it before we make a decision.  We were prepared for different, and for dashed expectations and readjustments, and for strong emotions exacerbated by travel stress.  But the first night was rather soon for a meltdown.

I think a good night sleep will help, however . . . and seeing the place in the morning sunshine.  It really is beautiful out.  I'm anxious to see how everyone feels when they get up.  I know I'm feeling good!

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