One thing I have realized about my blog: I don't like the order it goes in...it shows my most recent post first, but my last post won't make sense when you read this post first. Does that make any sense at all? Any-hoo.....here's what's been going on:
Friday, July 8: The day was peaceful. After work, a few of us went to play futbol...yes, I played! Well, I was the goalie (because I could just see myself tripping over the ball out there) and there were some pretty serious Panamanian players out there. There were only 4 women that played: me, Kaza, Abby, and another woman I didn't know. We started off playing 3 on 3, but as more people showed up, it wound up being 9-9. There were quite a few people from the lab, and it was so much fun. I actually had about 3 saves, and played a good game. But I was mucho cansada when it was over. So what do I do....go home, take a shower and get ready for a night out dancing!!! Ay caramaba! Kaza, Abby, Sarah, and I went to an area of Panama City called Calle Uruguay and visited some of the local nightclubs. All I can say is, what a night! Great music, great friends, great dancing!!
Saturday, July 9: Recuperation needed in the early morning. Much lounging around, with breakfast and coffe thrown in there somewhere around 10am....the details are fuzzy...lol. But today is the day I get to met my Panamanian roots, and my stomach was in knots! Cousin Ricky called at around 1pm to say he was on his way. I didn't know quite what to expect, so I packed for an overnight trip. Ricky didn't know how to get to La Juala (which is the name of my dorm and oh yeah!! I need to show y'all this place!) but he knew how to get to the main lab at Tupper, so I just walked to meet him. As I got closer and I'm looking around, I hear honking and see where he is. I was cheesing so hard when I got to the car.....there was no mistaking that he was family because he reminded me so much of my dad that it was eerie!! Same shape of head, face, nose...even down to the fact that he keeps a hat on his head when he is out of the house, lol! Ricky had brought his niece Cindy along for the ride...another cousin! Ricky joked and said that he didn't know quite who he was looking for and told Cindy to look for a "gringa"(what they call Americans here) walking down the street! So, now we are off to Colon...which is normally a 2 hour ride, but with the new highway that they have built through the country, now only takes 35 minutes. The scenery was breathtaking and Ricky is a natural and explaining all the sights and history of the area.
So we get to our exit, and take this shortcut that I just knew would have us tumbling down the ravine, but we make it. And then I get my first view of the family home: a large red house sitting on top of a hill. The house that my great-grandfather Sarge and his brothers built by hand for their father...the house that my great-grandfather's brother, my great-great uncle Rito Jardine and his wife Bruno still live in to this day. They have lived there since 1953!! Can you imagine?? Walking in that house was surreal, it was like being enveloped in a well worn, comfy blanket that I have had since childhood....it was familiar.
Ok, folks. I have to get going...another field trip today. I am definitely not finished telling you about my week, so stay tuned!
P.S. Some pictures are below....