I have been away for days, but the need to communicate my thoughts have not been iddle. While visiting my mother on the occassion of her 90th birthday, my sisters and I have been spending a lot of time together. We have laughed and reminisced, we have eaten great food and we have had a few drinks…..It has been a lot of fun.
Since my mother had a stroke about seven years ago, these trips to visit, supervise her care, spend time with her, have also been a reason to spend time with each other away from our husbands, children, friends. In other words, a time away from the lives we have made away from the country of our birth. A reason to have time to see the friends we went to school with, the cousins we like, see the changes that have taken place……
This trip has been a bit different. Mother’s birthday was on February 26th. Carnaval started on Friday the 28th. She lives in a small city in the Azuero Peninsula in Panama. This colonial town has been here since 1679 more or less. It is not close to the sea, It has no rivers closed by. People are descendants from Spaniards that came from the arid fields of Castille and Leon and the warm towns of Andalucia. They are fiercerly independent, very proud and not too friendly towards strangers. This time of the year, amazingly enough, they open their town to the hoards of people that descend to celebrate Carnaval.
I will be posting photos of this celeration later on. Suffice to say, that Rio de Janeiro, with all it’s wealth has nothing on this town. The amount of money spent, the beauty and splendour of the costumes, the fabulous floats and the display of fireworks is something I cannot explain…you need to see them!!! So I will come back with details. This post is more about us.
I have two sisters, I am the eldest. Ages are not important, so we will not talk about that. Especially since both Ana and Laura do not talk about it either. That is as it should be, we should live everyday and not put too much emphasis in time. We are very different, and when we are apart, we seem to have little in common. When we are here, we seem to have a lot more. Why? Maybe it’s the atmosphere, the fact that we are aware of the passing of time. The fact that we do not know when it will be the last trip to see our mother. Or maybe it is that we are hanging on to our memories, enjoying this time as we did those other times long ago.
Days pass very slowly in this climate. Fortunately, we have errands to run and things to do for our mother that keep us occupied. The heat is overwhelming. There is a hint of breeze, but not much shade. Trees are not very important in this region. The people prefer their yards devoid of any shade, incomprehensible to me. Laura thinks they prefer to show-off their homes. Nights are a bit better, at least there is no relentless sun. The breezes are more likely to come at night as well. So they are spent talking and remembering the times when we used to spend school holidays here, visiting our grandmother.
Internet connection is fantastic. Did you know the government of Panama has a special server…..free of charge…that anyone can use, in any town or city? Where else, tell me? Still, I have read a lot. So much better since back home I have no time to do it as much as I want. There is excellent food to enjoy, siestas to take and trips to the seaside to have seafood!! Must important….NO HOUSEWORK!!!!
So far, so good. We are still having fun, not even talking about the day we have to leave…..a day that will come too soon!!!