The four of us, Erin, Jörn, Martyna and Simon have been on the farm a little over a week. We stayed busy working on different projects around the farm and our progress is noticeable. When we arrived the garden was wild and unused during the wet season. We’ve tamed the garden and prepared the plots for the next growing season. Although, most of what we have learned hasn’t come from each other or our work, but from our neighbors.
Lasaro, his wife, daughter and three grandchildren visit us almost daily. His grandson, Eric, taught us how to fish in the Mamoni River and catch chickens that refuse to go in the coup. Although we haven’t tried it yet, Eric also told us how to catch and cook iguana. Lasaro’s granddaughters, Natalie and Suzanna help us with our Spanish while we teach them English. His wife and daughter love teaching us new Panamanian recipes, including three different types of chicha (juice) using our own produce growing around the farm, but also how to clean a chicken and prepare it for cooking.
A few things we’ve learned about Panamanian culture from our time here so far:
- timing is irrelevant
- company is always welcome
- being social doesn’t always require conversation
- a smile is carried throughout the entire face
- if you aren’t a big coffee drinker when you arrive in Panama, you’ll be one by the time you leave
- chicha always requires an overload of sugar
- the Mamoni River’s crystal waters are a life source in the heat
- fresh, local vegetables are all you need for a good meal
Stay tuned for the rest of our amazing adventures!