Friday, June 20, 2008

Comfortable Living

There are only two main streets in the town of Boquete, so it doesn’t take long to figure out the lay of the land or two explore it. My days began to take on a routine this week, as I rejected the many tourist trip packages on offer and instead enjoyed the life on offer here. I’d study in the morning, do a bit of work, go home to feed baby and spend a little time with him, find a new place to have lunch, and spend my afternoons with a combination of working and observing my environment.

Each day I notice something new. The brilliant green that surrounds me is the same – from the green grass along the sidewalks to the forested mountains spread out in every direction. But the view changes with the weather – the fog, the mist, the sun, the rain – changing the background and shading.

Every day I notice a new bird or flower – the dark purple and violet bougainvilleas, the lilies, the numerous tropical flowers that have names unknown to me, but call out with bright orange, pink, red, yellow petals. I spend an afternoon on the covered patio of a strawberry café, where the owner carefully painted the tables and all the walls with vines of ripe strawberries atop a cheery yellow background. I see a young girl turning herself into circles until she’s so dizzy she almost falls over.

I hail a public bus, which is a school bus with the same green vinyl seats of memory. But this time I’m sitting next to nuns, the driver has put a black and white check pattern over his steering wheel, and a bright green boa surrounds the rearview mirror. I can take my baby to Havana Blues, showing at the school, and walk back home with him asleep in his backpack. I feel safe here, the people are kind, and the pleasant feeling is only reinforced by the color and life of the nature that surrounds us.

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