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Faraway Travels ~ Day 3 (June 15th, 2009)

July 22, 2009

DCP_3289Woke up around 9 in the morning, took a shower, and had chocolate cereal again for breakfast. (I had that chocolate cereal almost every morning for breakfast… better than plain cornflakes, or cornflakes with sugar.) Then I left with Elli. I thought we were going to her college, but realized I’d been mixed up. We dropped by the store to get a can of powdered milk for Alexa (Tia was babysitting her at home), and after taking it back home, we went to the church.

Since Elli works there, we were there for most of the day. When we first arrived, we saw Dani and Eli. The first thing Eli said after saying hi was asking if 0107801440I liked pineapple. I said yes, but why? He said ‘Hang on a second, I’ll get you one of these.’ I wasn’t sure what it was that he had, but I knew it was some sort of food. When he came back, he handed me this frozen block inside a plastic bag:

He said they were called ‘duros’, ‘duro’ meaning ‘hard.’ They’re fresh fruit juice poured into these bags and frozen solid like popsicles. ‘They’re only 10 cents a pop and a great way to keep cooled off’, he said. Which was great, because the air conditioner was broken. The duro was great! Towards the end, though, it was melting pretty quickly, so the juice dripped all over my hands and parts of my shorts.

When we went home, around 3-4 in the afternoon, we had dinner with the rest of the family. It was a soup that had bits of beef, potatoes, plantains, and maize cobs in it. Of course, with white rice – a staple for them. Rice is part of almost every main meal. After a couple days, I recognized the ‘eating pattern’: for breakfast, it’s usually something small, or a bowl of cereal; the main meal of the day is eaten at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and everyone sits together for that one; then you have a small snack at night before bed.

DCP_3313We rested for a little bit, then Elli and I went with Dani and Eli to the mall. I was shocked when we walked in, because it was even nicer than most malls I’ve been in here in the States! It had 3 levels, and everything was clean and SHINY. Shiny like you could see your reflection and the reflection of the lights on the FLOOR and every store window. Eli saw my reaction and laughed. He said he’d thought the same way. After all, it’s Panama! You wouldn’t expect something that nice there. But I came to realize there’s the poor and there’s the well-off. That mall was obviously a reflection of the well-off.

We headed for the Cinema (in the mall), and decided to watch Night at the Museum 2. But, to watch the version we wanted (English audio with Spanish subtitles), we would have to wait a little while. So, we went walking around and found a Dairy Queen! So we stopped and had some ice cream. Elli, Dani, and Eli got chocolate dipped cones, while I opted for a ‘Moka Brownie’ blizzard. It was so good! We stayed there and talked for a while. When we finished, DCP_3317we walked around some more, and found a game store. It had a Wii version of Rockband 2 that they let us play on, so we played a couple songs. I sang for the first one, played the drums next, and then the guitar. Then it was time to watch the movie so we thanked the employees and left.

When we got to the Cinema, we were there with plenty of time to spare still, so they talked and laughed as we were sitting in the nearly-empty theater while I thought and listened to the conversation, understanding bits and pieces, but not enough to put everything together. At one point DCP_3332they stopped for Eli to explain to me that what they were laughing about at the moment was that we had, for 4 people, gotten ice creams at Dairy Queen, movie tickets, and movie snacks (drinks and popcorn) for less than $30. I was shocked. But, then again, I guess it evens out when you look at the average Panamanian’s income. Then the movie started.

When the movie was over, we left to go back home. All the shops were closed as we walked out, and the parking lot was nearly empty. It was peaceful and quiet. I like the streets there later at night… it’s beautiful and peaceful. When we got home, we pretty much went straight to bed.

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