Mother’s Day in Bocas del Palo

By gregebersole

May 13, 2013

Category: Travel

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Yesterday afternoon, I rode with Juan Carlos on his motorcycle to Bocas del Palo. There was a special Mother’s Day music program that he organized. A man who goes by Baterimba was to perform at 2 p.m. He arrived late and started at about 3:30 p.m. His real name is Carlos Fernando Balanta Mezu. He sings and performs as a one man band, playing many instruments. He’s performed at the Petronio Alvarez Music Festival in Cali several years. He was very good and the crowd loved him. Most were on their feet and dancing most of the time. I took a lot of photos and also, several kids kept asking to take a photo with my camera. I ended up with over 600 photos, a big editing job for today. Juan Carlos and I stayed until about 9:30 p.m. After Baterimba left, there was more music and later the discotheque was open with music and dancing. I danced a couple salsa songs and one bachata with a couple of women. When we left, it felt great to ride motorcycle back in the cooler night air.

One of the main reasons that I wanted to go to Bocas del Palo was to see my friend, Yessica, again. We had connected on Facebook and chatted once. I hadn’t spoken to her much before for a long time since some of the kids had given her a hard time for being my special friend. I had brought my old small Canon point and shoot to give her. I don’t use it anymore. I had bought a new digital card and checked the camera functions out. Everything was working great. Juan Carlos asked a young boy to take me to her house. She was there and we talked and I gave her the camera. She was so happy and excited. It made me feel so good to be able to give it to her. She used to walk with me last year and take photos with my cameras and also point out good possible photos for me to take. I knew she would treasure the camera and use it often. She told me to wait and ran into her house. She came out about 10 minutes later drying her hair. She had quickly washed it. She then wanted to walk with me to the river to take photos. We met her friend, shown in the photo above, on the left, and together we walked through the little town to the river, taking photos. Yessica is now in school in Jamundi. She is 13 and will be 14 in July. She has about 5 years I think at her school. Juan Carlos said when she finishes she won’t be able to go to the university. It costs too much and the additional cost of bus transportation to and from Bocas del Palo would make it impossible. He said her dream is to be a mathematics teacher. She is real intelligent and a great student. I knew from the start that she was pretty sharp. She has a pretty mellow and calm personality. I keep thinking and wondering if there is some way I can make it possible for her to attend the university some day. She has always held a special place in my heart.

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