We celebrated Jeorgethe’s 14th birthday yesterday; she came to the pool along with her brother Josue, her cousins Naty and Luisito, and Naty’s cousin Brenda. I had planned to treat everyone to lunch — that included Minga and Sally and Gloria and Lily — and then ask for flan or ice cream as dessert and we’d sing. Marcos, our favorite server, upon hearing about the birthday said, “No, Senora Pamela. I can bring a cake and it won’t take any time at all.” He asked Jeorgethe to write her name down so the spelling would be correct, and I agreed that we’d wait for the cake.
Famous last words in Panama are “It won’t take any time at all.” Ninety minutes later — we’d left the table and decamped to the pool until notified that the cake had arrived — Jeorgethe indeed got her real birthday cake.
The long wait was only a problem because as the hour approached 2pm, Minga was getting visibly tired. She rests in the afternoon, and I had planned to send them back to the village in a taxi by then. Minga held out, Jeorgethe loved the cake, and she had half to take home to family who didn’t get to come.