I have now returned from Panama, people, and I am trying to process that — on my last vacation day before returning to work.
One thing I want to do, in this post, is show you photographs I took in Panama with my phone. Also, because I have so many possible ways to present these pictures, I need a perfect-enough structure*, to make this post potentially and primarily passable and understandable* for most people.
Hence …. P-words!!
(Before I begin, I’d like to write one preliminary, introductory paragraph where I am neither (1) trying hard to use words that begin with “P” nor (2) using the punctuation play I’ve already established in this post. I’d like to announce that I have probably previously written about several of these P-word topics that appear in this post. Perhaps I shall link to previous posts, when applicable; perhaps not. I also want to mention that the punctuation play is … kind of a pain, because it’s difficult to pass back and forth between italic, bold, and plain text — the text styles seem to get “stuck”. So, this parenthetical paragraph is a nice little relief, here. Also, I would also like to let go of perfectionism with all things in this post, including punctuation, playful or otherwise.)
Phew! Now that I’ve completed that prologue of a disclaimer, shall we proceed?
(Pssssst, people! That punctuation play? From now on in this post … I pass.)
P-Words: Phone Photos from Panama
I’m really working on patience these days. And patience/impatience came up for me, big time, in Panama.
As is my proclivity, I project impatience onto other people, especially when I am feeling stress* and self-judgment*. And even though a vacation SHOULD be less stressful, the newness of the surroundings can increase that stress.
However, the people I encountered in Panama were, in general, particularly patient and kind.
My personal opinion is that this is the most patient person I had the pleasure to meet, in Panama:
That’s Jason. He was my personal tour guide, on the day I chose the “Hot Springs” activity. When I say “personal” I mean this: nobody else signed up for that tour, that day.
I’m kind of disappointed in myself that I didn’t get a better photo of Jason — that is, one that showed his warm smile.
Here’s another photo I took of Jason, with my iPhone, that day:
Notice all the P-words in the name of that park, people! That was unplanned, post-wise …. I promise!
That photo, above, shows the entrance to a park that has Pre-Columbian petroglyphs. Because I had previously heard from one of our prior Panamanian tour guides, Rolando, that the Hot Spring Tour could include a visit to see petroglyphs (and I’ve always been fascinated by ancient cultures), I asked Jason if we could stop there, before the Hot Springs.
Here are some other photos, from that park:
I asked Jason if he would pose in that photo, to get a sense of human scale (from his expression, I don’t know how he was feeling about that, at that point). That is the short-side of a huge volcanic rock, the aftermath of an explosion of the nearby Volcano Baru, thousands of years ago. The volcanic rocks were everywhere, all around us. On the side of that rock, shown above, you can see petroglyphs mixed in with more modern types of rock-drawings.
Here’s a photo of a perpendicular side of that same giant volcanic rock:
At this point, Jason and I were postulating about what the people who created these petroglyphs were trying to proclaim. He told me they were carved when the rock was still soft — in other words, not too long after the eruption of the volcano. (Jason also pointed out that the petroglyphs were recently made more pronounced, for easier perception.) I can’t remember* everything we said about what the ancient Panamanians were trying to communicate, post-volcanic eruption, but I remember some punchlines about what the petroglyphs meant:
And less humorously –and perhaps more accurately pin-pointing possibly poignant, painful, personal, and panicky experiences, in that distant past:
“Why am I still here when so many other people I know died so horribly?”
But those would all be projections on my part, people, as to what I might be feeling, post trauma …. that is, after a major, unexpected devastating event like a volcanic explosion.
Jason then told me that there were more petroglyphs on top of the rock, and that these included … spirals! And since spirals are an image and metaphor I use, a lot, in my work as a psychotherapist, I asked if I could see those, too:
I knew I was going to show those spirals in this blog, I just wasn’t sure when. There’s no time like the present, people!
Here are more photos of my time with Jason, as my guide:
Note that this terrain* is quite different* from that around Boquete, the prime location for Peggy and Ann’s Panamanian Adventures. That’s because of the lower elevation and, therefore, hotter climate. Also, note those omni-present black volcanic rocks.
I also snapped this photo of these Panamanian Pups ….
…. because I had noticed that the local dogs are unleashed, and pretty much do whatever they please. If any dogs read this blog: you might want to ponder a move* to Panama.
More phone photos from that day:
I HAVE to comment* on that previous photo. That, ladies and gentlemen, is Bartolo the Buffalo, preeminent for his many appearances at local festivals. Jason told me that Bartolo was an unusual buffalo, in that he allows people to ride him.
Bartolo sounds patient, to me.
I don’t have any photos to present, for the rest of that afternoon. Why? As I wrote about in this post, I was trying, on my vacation, to be more present in the moment, rather than primarily focusing on photography. I acted on that preference, that day, by leaving my camera behind.
There ARE other phone photos, from my afternoon tour of the Hot Springs, which I’m not going to show here. Why? Even though I was prepared to go photo-less, from that point on, Jason was empathic, kind*, and considerate enough to ask me, several times, if he could take phone photos of me at the Caldera Hot Springs, which included (1) a spring that a local Panamanian person said was “muy caliente” (but which tough* and plucky Ann had NO PROBLEM tolerating) and (2) a hot spring that bubbles into a beautiful* brook!
And, in case you don’t know my photography rules, I don’t show photos of myself in this blog. At least, not yet.
But I do have more phone photos to show you, from Panama, that illustrate more P-words.
Patient people, continued*:
Pssssst! That’s Peggy!
Pssssst! That’s Rolando!
Psssst! That’s Jyoti and Sanjay (I’m pretty positive I’ve got their names right), who were also staying at Los Establos. I thought I had a photo of all four patient people in their group (including Anju and Alok who were present above but unaccounted for in that photo) … but I can’t find it right now. In the foreground of the above photo? That’s the first* cup of coffee I’ve had for … forty years. How was it? Primo!**
And the last, but not least, patient person appearing in a phone photo:
That’s, Irina, the patient, pleasant and phenomenal owner of Los Establos. We ran into her at the Panama City airport yesterday, which I found quite propitious, since I hadn’t photographed her previously.
And, before I end* this post, some more phone photos, representing other P-words.
Planes and passengers:
Psssst! That’s Connie Zielinski, who moved from the USA to Boquete, Panama, several years ago. She gave us a preview of coming attractions — the upcoming February 13th parade — moments after I took that previous photo:
And, Presto! Here’s Connie, two days later, in that parade:
Geesh! I really should finish this post. Is it procrastinating, that I want to post more photos of Panama?
Just one more “Plane” photo:
Pssst! That’s snow, on the ground, right before we landed in Boston, last night. I don’t want to end this post there, people. A few more photos from the past, using P-words, okay?
And just one more P-word (with no photo, phone or otherwise).
Thanks to that beautiful country; to Los Establos; and to Jason, Peggy, Rolando, Irina, Connie, and every other patient person, parrot, or puppy appearing in — or reading! — this post.
* There’s no perfect-enough synonym starting with “P” for this particular word. Believe me, I checked (on thesaurus.com).
** That would be the Italian meaning of “primo,” not the Spanish (which primarily, according to my perception, means “cousin”).