I'm not a big blogger. But I figure, down the road, I will be happy to read through my experiences.
I'm 24. That happened.
I went to a show in Panama. It was like battle of the bands. While it wasn't the best music I've ever heard, I do love a good show.
Amanda is getting married. She goes back to Montana next month for a US reception and then gets married here when she returns. Bachelorette parties aren't so common here, but we're having one. Not only are we having one, we are having one with the women at the brothel. Seriously. Be jealous.
I spent a good little chunk of my birthday eve exchanging songs with translated lyrics to a friend here. Watts would be proud. There is a video for The First Day of My Life with Spanish Subtitles on youtube. This progressed into a spur of Conner Oberst's lovely words, which may or may not be as beautiful in Spanish, but that happened, too.
I saw some monkeys and stuff. We went out to the campo to see Franklin's grandfather (significantly different than Chitre--think lots of free range chickens and lots of greenery). Anyone who has heard my talk about my great grandmother who passed in September knows that I think she is the sweetest person I've ever met. If there could be a male equivalent to how cute she was, it's Franklin's grandfather. I wish my Spanish were better, so that I could really talk to him more.
So, the brothel tends to depress me. But not terribly, just something each time. I absolutely love the women, though. They are so nice, most from Colombia (in fact only one is Panamanian) and have to work a ton. I talked to a girl about her boyfriend. She's 21, Colombian, and has a boyfriend here. I want to ask more questions about their lives, but don't want to pry too much. I've still got a good few weeks left to visit, and I'm sure I will learn more.
Sometimes we have to take a cab to the Flourida (brothel) because someone else is using the car. This is always fun. The cab driver looks at us...two young white girls...and asks again, just to verify. Its just outside of Chitre, in a town called La Arena. It might be a mile from the office...actually I have no idea, but its not a bad walk. However, we have to walk past a construction site, and it is always hilarious. There is a stark difference in dress when we go to the brothel vs. the high schools. At the high schools we have to wear pants and sleeves. When we go to the brothel, its relief because we can put on shorts and a tank top and know that we will still be wearing more than most of them. But when we walk back, I kid you not, the hissing, I love yous, and halting, beeping cars is absurd! Last Friday in particular. Amanda, who is used to living here and the remarks that are frequently directed toward (especially) white women, was so taken aback that she exclaimed: "What! Are we naked?!" Okay, so that is the best line of my trip so far.