Panama 2017: Tour de Rio Hato

We met two interesting hotel guests, Patricia and Rebecca, by the pool. Rebecca asked Gloria if she owned a villa, which tickled Gloria to no end — that anyone would think her upper class enough to own a villa. The two women are here for golf and a conference, and are spending a few days at the beach before returning to Panama City. They were interested in seeing the “real Panama”, so I loaded them in the car with Gloria and we took a quick tour of the village. Stop one, out of respect, was at Minga’s.

From left: Patricia, Minga, Josue, Naty, Grisbel, Rebecca and Grisel.

Gris and Gris are usually at the local equivalent of day care during the week while their parents work, so they are rarely in photos and rarely come to the pool.

People have asked why rural Panamanians name their kids similar things, and I don’t know. Jennifer and Jennisbel are Jenni and Jenni, and no one seems to get confused. Ditto with Gris and Gris. And then there are the four Jaris: Janelys, Jarelys, Jarinelys and Jarineilys. Then there is the thing about boys and men having nicknames — Lily’s brother Rey is Pocho, Josue is Fomfi — but not girls or women, who tend to be called by their own names or a shorter version, but not an entirely different name.

Some years ago Tia Phyllis worked out a genealogy of Minga’s family, and as you can see it takes some considerable effort to keep straight who is who. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Panama 2017: Tour de Rio Hato

  1. for Phyllis: You know there’s not much to do at the hotel, other than beach and pool. They were up for the jaunt, and it was fun to take them.

  2. for Katie: Minga is so very proud to show her house, especially her lovely table where she often uses the beautiful table cloth you sent her. I explain to visitors that back in the day she had no table, no plates or glasses or utensils. We sat on the ground and ate out of small tin bowls. We adults had spoons, the kids ate with their hands. No wonder Minga is proud.

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