We secured our luggage on top of the bus and scored seats -- not a minor feat in Latin America. After days of waiting, we were finally on the road again! As we travelled, we had the beautiful Carribean coastline to our left and the green of the tropical forest to our right. Don't I sound like a tour guide?! By the time we pulled into Palenque, we were the last ones left on the bus. Maybe that should have tipped us off.
We spent the day swimming at the beach, and headed back to the hostel to make some dinner. As I was about to pick up my fork to start eating, the sound of a microphone being tested rang out. Five women and one man were gathered under a tent that was set up to resemble a little chapel. (None of them were related to Senor Bornel either.) They took turns stepping up to the mic to sing songs either alone or in small groups. In between songs, one woman in particular did all of the preaching, and we found out that she was staying in the room next to us in the hostel. They must've gone through at least ten songs by the time we finished our dinner. The evangelical ceremony lasted three hours. The next day, the entire ceremony began again at noon. Only a handful of villagers (none of them were Mr. Bornel) watched the ceremony, but it could easily be heard throughout the entire village. This must have been in the background for everyone else's dinner too.
The next day I took a morning swim and when I came back to the hostel I found three girls, Neli, Damaris, and Ariel sitting on the porch. (Their names don't even sound like Bornel!) They told me that they had seen us all walking around the night before and so they came to the hostel to find out what we were doing in their village. I asked if I could take a photo of the three of them and they were more than happy to smile and pose for the camera. It didn't take long for before the photos session attracted other kids nearby.
They suggested that if we still wanted to get to the San Blas Islands we take a bus to the next town, Miramar, and take a canoe to the islands. That's exactly what we did. Finally, some accurate information! (Still no Senor Bornel, though!) We are still on the island. I am writing this dispatch from there. Now we are wondering how long we will be here before we can continue on to Colombia.
From East, From West, From North, But What's Above?
The Black Christ of Portobelo
Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya, Tomorrow
Twenty Dollars to Leave
Making a Difference |
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