Am in United Club in Houston, and able to get online with computer. I can write and post blog entries on my phone, as I did at Tocumen Airport this morning, but it’s harder because of the lack of a full size keyboard.
This is going to be a very long day. We were up at 3:15am Panama time [EST] for a 4am pickup. David came out from the city yesterday by public transport, stayed overnight in the village, and then got a friend to bring him over to PuntaArena to drive us into Panama City. I used to drive in, but no longer like to. The highway is extremely dark, and there are no services open should we have a problem like car trouble or a flat tire. Plus, this morning, there was a policia speed trap that surely would have caught me, having me stopped by the side of the road in the pitch dark dealing with the potential of a ticket. David anticipated it, and we slowed down and went serenely through. I was profoundly glad that he was driving. Once in the city, we had to find a gas station open at that hour to fill up before returning the car.
David is a saint. It’s actually less costly for me to hire him as our driver for the whole trip rather than rent a car myself — the insurance coverage in Panama cost more than the car rental, and I don’t dare go without. Our U.S. coverage is specifically excluded in Panama. And he eliminates a lot of stress getting us from one place to the other.
I have a long layover here, which is going to make it a very long day. I always say you can get anyway as long as you can remain lucid for 24 hours with catnaps on the plane, but that gets harder as I age. Still in for Panama 2018, though.
For tomorrow will post pics of the despedida, which is our going from house to house to say good-bye — culturally the polite thing to do. Leaving Minga grows more and more poignant. She told me she is sure God will grant us more time together, and I know that she has enough faith for us both.
More reflective pieces on Panama 2017 to come during the week.