Panama 2019: The Last Morning

Sally and I were leaving from Tocumen International Airport mid-day on Saturday on different flights: she to Boston, and I to Seattle. A few family members told Lily they wanted to say good-bye, so I told her to pass on the word that they could come to the hotel and I’d buy breakfast. Going to the airport hardly makes sense, as Sally and I go immediately to the security line, and then to the gate where the U.S. airline makes you go through a metal detector with everything you’re carrying again, the way you just did for Panamanian security. Takes forever.

Lily dressed in her chief pharmacist uniform, as she’s on the way to work. They get six uniforms a week, and have to wear a freshly cleaned and pressed one every day. The  dry cleaning cost, borne by the employee, is $1.60 per uniform. You can do your own, but Lily has hers done at the laundry. They have to wear black shoes, and make-up. I hardly ever wear make-up, and certainly not during the day. I asked Lily what I’d do if I worked for Arrocha. She said, “Tia Pamela, you’d wear make-up.

Eating at a restaurant, even a hotel buffet, is a big deal. They never do that on their own.

We had breakfast and took pics and they gave us gifts to stash in our already overfull suitcases, and then Sally and I hugged and kissed them good-bye and went upstairs to finish packing our stuff.

They had one more surprise for us, which I’ll write about tomorrow.

Lily, Tia Sally, Tia Pamela, Hazel, Manuel, Lely.

” A few” became 11. From left, Lely, Ana, Teri, Hazel with Manuel behind, Naty with Miley behind, Tia Pamela, Tia Sally, Daira, Josue, Jeorgethe. Lily is taking the pic.

Licensiada Lily Bustavino

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