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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boquete, Adventuerers Welcome!




Boquete is an absolutely an adventurers town. Let me give you a glimpse of what the two weeks brought. Saddling up an unpredictable horse, jumping into a running river off narrow cliffs, riding waves in a raft, reading books to young indigenous children, striding on trails, tipping out of a kayak, and zip lining 80 k.m.h…ahhhhhhh!
Before I left for Panama, you bet I had some wide eyes, and a fair amount of warning signs. My dad worried that I would be taken for ransom, my mom feared the same. So of course I came into Panama treading with caution. Most anywhere you go in the world these days; it seems you need some amount of caution and to stay on your toes. However, I will say the honest, friendly, hardworking people of Boquete helped me make the adjustment in less than a morning. I was in a tourist office the first day and asked a simple question that I feared would come back with a halting answer of “NOOOO WAY LOCA CHICA!” Ok, so here’s the question: “Is it safe to walk around Boquete by myself?”
I directed the question quietly at one guide but it got the attention of the whole office. There was a silence, I could hear my heart racing, thinking, “CARRI why would you ask that, of course you need a body guard in this city!” But where could I find one? The silence turned to smiles, a little laughter and they said with complete eye contact and reassurance… “You are very safe here.”
Well that was that. I was strolling around the town with my umbrella in hand, smile on my face and comfort in my head. Buying a mango for a 25 cents, a plantain for 15 cents and guanabana for 35 cents, I was set for a fruit fiesta. The stores are simple. The variety and masses offered are slim compared to the states. The beauty is that you really appreciate the small stuff. It’s not about fashion and trends here, it’s about community.
In a small town of Boquete you better like the local bars and restaurants. But how could you not? They all bring out atmosphere and community, and it’s where you will find everyone! In the two weeks I was here I started to see I would meet someone and see them again that same day or later that week. And never a reintroduction is necessary, just another hello and pulling up a seat to chat.
I saw my guide from the zipline tree trek at at a charity benefit the same night. Stopping to talk to a lady in the tourist information center led us to meet again at a local restaurant that same night. I started up a conversation with some tourists in a coffee shop and as I was driving out of Boquete we waved goodbye.
It really is more than the pure life here, it’s the simple life where you just can’t help but smile and see that worries won’t get you anywhere.

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