Panama 2017: Despedida at Mari’s

The polite custom here is that we make the rounds in the village to say hello to everyone when we’ve arrived, then we reverse the process when one or more guests is departing. Yesterday in the late afternoon we said good-bye at Mari’s, then at Rufina’s [she has a really bad cold so no pics], then at Gloria’s and then at Minga’s.

Minga’s family are very welcoming to me and my guests, and very sad when we depart. They say a year is such a long time to wait. They remind us that we are welcome to come and stay in their homes at any time, if we don’t want to stay at the beach. They tell us that we have become family, and that they will always be here for us.

Mari tells my guests over and over that even though she wasn’t born during the Peace Corps years and didn’t meet me until I returned 40 years later, she knew me from the stories of her mother and siblings, and that in the flesh I was just the person she expected. 🙂

Luisito, papa Luis, Mari, Mary, Sally, Emily. Harlennys and Darineth were around the corner with Rey, the baby's father.

Luisito, papa Luis, Mari, Mary, Sally, Emily. Harlennys and Darineth were around the corner with Rey, the baby’s father.

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