Sunday, September 30, 2012

SANTA FE

Entrance to Hostal La Quia
This weekend almost all of the WorldTeach volunteers met in Santa Fe to meet the new cpuntry director, Amanda Colon, and to celebrate Anna Reusink's birthday.

Santa Fe is a small town up in the mountains between Santiago and Bocas del Toro.  It is an up and coming retirement haven and the land is much cheaper than in well established Boquete.  You can get a few acres with waterfalls and a tropical feel for little money (although prices are going up fast), but there is not much else there.  A curvy two lane road leads there, whereas in Boquete they are completing a four lane highway from David.  I had to take a bus three hours from David to Santiago, then transfer to another bus for 1 1/2 hours to get to Santa Fe.

We stayed at the Hotel La Quia.  It has one main building and several outbuildings with dormitory and private cottages.  I stayed in a room upstairs in the main building.  It did have a mosquito net, which seems rare here.  Malaria was conquered early in the 1900's so they could complete the Panama Canal.  There are still bugs though, because the walls are unchinked wood boards.  That serves as air conditioning.  I came a day before most of the group, and they took over the whole dormitory of eight beds.  The facility has been sold to an American University, who is turning it into a research center.  I am not sure what they will be researching, but it is a beautiful location.




  
My room.  You have to stand on the bed to attach the mosquito net to the ceiling


View from upstairs balcony

Santa Fe cemetery

The two Michaela's in front of the dormitory


For dinner we walked to the Blue Iguana to celebrate Anna's birthday.  It is run by an American couple from Texas and has decent American food.  We sat outside and were soon attacked by chitras (like sand flies).  Veraguas province is apparently noted for them.   You can't see them, but you certainly feel them biting.  I rarely use insect repellent because they aren't a problem in David or Boquete, but I could have used some here.  On Monday I went to an already scheduled doctor's  appointment to get something for the itching.  He had taken a week off, so I went to the pharmacy and got an anti itch pill and some Caladryl lotion.  I still ended up scratching in my sleep and by the time I saw the doctor the next Monday, my legs were full or sores.  I blame him for taking an unscheduled week off.

We met for dinner at the Blue Iguana.  We certainly look a lot scruffier than when we left Panama City
Happy Birthday to Anna!