Monday, March 11, 2013

Air Panama, a Pig, and lovely Lemons

Well, it seems I'm overdue for a post. As Jenn would say, I have a huge case of Normalization. I've had a request to write more about my day to day events; what do I do out here?  No, I do not just sit in a hammock all day, but that is how I like to start my day. There's nothing for me quite like making time to read in the morning, with a coffee or tea, listening to lapping water. With my new Kobo Mini I'm able to pick Anna Karenina back up and wow, that Tolstoy knows how to tell a story.
Yesterday was very busy. My day started with buying a newly slaughtered 60lbs pig before 8am. A lovely Panamanian had raised her pig and was ready to sell it to Sue's kitchen. It doesn't get more free range and local than walking distance on a an island trail. I asked Sue if she needed help cutting it up.
"Oh no, it's as easy now as skinning a chicken."
"Actually Sue, I don't know anything about skinning chickens. I was vegan for a few years, and most of the time living on my own, I'm vegetarian."
My grandmother's sister used to own a butcher shop/Polish deli, and my general curiosity of 'how -to', brought me into the kitchen. Cruz commented that it looked like a cooking show, as Sue explained her process, while beautifully separating the main pieces of meat, and instructing Sela on the seasoning.

After that I tried to dye a few things turquoise. Then started the process of carefully peeling without pith, and juicing, 20 lemons, (a rare fruit all the way from David, 4hrs away). The peels went into vodka to make lemonchellos. The fresh juice went to fresh lemonade and cocktails. I checked on cabins for new guests, and filled some gaps that were noticed. I helped at the bar with dinner service as Lloyd was still in Bocas awaiting the new arrivals. Sue kept here ears to the sky, hoping to hear a plane that was supposed to be arriving around 5pm, but didn't pass until 7:30pm.

Air Panama, the airline responsible for delaying tourists coming to Bocas since 2006, pushed the limits on yesterdays delays. Telling passengers that 'the plane broke down' (which probably means the staff was on a break at the bar), turned an hour plane trip into a two and a half hour delay, is not a fun stop for any traveler, especially when sun and beach and good food are calling. Since the Bocas 'airport' got lights, Air Panama has used that as an excuse to make planes even farther off their mark. You'd think an airline that has the same two daily flight times everyday, for years, would have figured out how to be on time, not the case. Their excuses get more colorful, and people living here have gotten used to just waiting around Bocas town, and only walking to the airport once they hear the plane pass overhead.

Normally I'm not fussed when planes are delayed, things do happen every now and again, but arriving late to the island of Bocas, means that tourists have to then get to their destinations in the dark. For Casa Cayuco that means driving the boat in the dark. Lloyd is a pro at it, but that doesn't mean it's fun. The boat has to slow down so no one in a cayuco (hollowed out tree canoes) who is night fishing, with no lights, don't get hit or hurt, adding more travel time to the already 45minute ride. Not to mention newcomers don't get to see the collection of mangroves they pass through. Thankfully last night was a beautifully starry night with some good bio-luminescence. It's really unfortunate though that Air Panama can't get their act together, no matter how many complaints are filed, see Air Panama is killing me and their customer satisfaction reviews, a whopping 1.3 out of 5.

So those are most of the highlights of yesterday, gotta get back to it.

1 comment:

  1. Epic day for sure! And the pulled pork sandwiches were a huge it!