Thursday, February 11, 2010

Padre Mickey's Excellent Bocas del Toro Adventure! Day 2

On our first day in Bocas the staff of Centro Augustíno, the place where our Diocesan Convention was being held and where many of us were sleeping in the dormitories (it's a former convent), told us not to leave the water running in the bathrooms. I asked "why would we do that?" and received a shrug of the shoulders. Later that afternoon, I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and discovered that the floor was flooded. I heard a dripping sound, and, after some investigation, I discovered a leak at the inlet valve under a sink. I turned off the valve and reported the problem but nothing was done about it. We named the wet floor Lago San Augustino and tried to avoid slipping.

On Thursday, February 4, I awoke at 6:30 am and headed for the showers. The floor was still flooded, which made things less than pleasant. Not a great start to the day! Breakfast was served in the refectory (Johnny cake y huevos revueltos con salchicas, café o te). After breakfast (and brushing my teeth; the floor was still flooded) we headed down the street and around the corner to Iglesia Santa María for the ECW/Youth Convention opening Eucharist. After the Eucharist we returned to Centro Augustíno for the Annual Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women of Panamá, where Bishop Murray gave the opening address. I spent much of my time snapping photos and learning to type on the iTouch and playing Vector Tank on the iTouch until my battery power became dangerously low. After lunch I entered the bathroom to brush my teeth (hey, I wanna keep them!) and Lago San Augustín was still there, and now fish were spawning within its depths (well, maybe not). However, I had some hope as the bathroom also contained a mop bucket and mop with just a little water in the bucket. It looked as if someone had started mopping the floor but had wandered off to a more pressing task. I returned to the meeting area for the rest of the session.

The meeting ended about 3:00 pm and we had the rest of the day free. I visited the bathroom where the mop and bucket stood, untouched. I'd had it and started mopping up the water. Guillermo Johnson came in and decided to sweep some of the water into the drain. Well, the drain was clogged, so he opened the side door of the bathroom and swept water outside while I mopped. After the mopping I decided to go in search of inexpensive t-shirts, as I had forgotten to pack any. I wandered down the main street and decided to take a side street. While walking down the street I passed a house where someone one sitting on the porch. I looked and realized it was a parishioner of San Cristóbal, Elsa Moses! Back in Panama City she lives on Calle Decima, the same street as the parish, and I pass her sitting on the porch all the time as I walk to work. She waved at me and I waved at her (just like on Calle Decima!) so I stopped in for a visit. She said, "Padre, you look good. Just like a Bocas bway!" We had a nice visit and her husband showed me the house. After our visit I continued down the street where I found a little shop and purchased two cheap inexpensive t-shirts.

I returned to Centro Augustíno with my purchases. I met up with Guillermo and we grabbed our cameras and headed to the beach hoping to take photos of the sunset. We stopped at a restaurant on the beach where we had a great conversation but the sunset was disappointing and we didn't get much in the way of photos. Oh well! But the horrible thing was to return and learn that the water had been turned-off in the bathroom, a harbinger of Things To Come!

The stage


Iglesia Santa María: Interior

Iglesia Santa María: Exterior

Waiting for the Procession

El Obispo predicando

End of service

The Meeting

Mesa de las Damas de San Cristóbal y San Pablo

Padre Nelson Edwards leading Noonday Prayer

Waiting for sunset

A rather drab sunset!

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