The following week was a good time to adjust and to get to know more people intimately at The College. The school had become my main focus of interest and I was infatuated with the idea of being able to attend classes right alongside the girls as I remembered doing in elementary school. At the National Institutee, it was all boys. Undoubtedly, I was still thinking about the girl who had given me her photo and handkerchief, and her boldness even though I was doing my level best to avoid girls this early on in the game. Continue reading
View of the City of Colon from the northern point. Image thanks to wikipedia.org
Tito, I soon learned, came from Westindian Panamanian parents who had the physical characteristics of the culizos. Culizos in Panama bear the racial attributes of East Indians and my new friend had that distinct swarthy skin color, chocolate-brown, with a slight curl to his mostly straight hair. These features all combined in Tito to make him a good looking guy although he was a little shorter in stature than me.
We walked in silence towards the center of the city where we both lived when we were suddenly met by another guy, a mulatto in appearance. “Hey, this is my friend Riri who came here from Panama,” says Tito gregariously. Continue reading
The kindness in Tito’s voice was clear and made the guys in our group pay attention because, I suppose, they were wondering the same thing. I answered, “I am a transfer student here from the National Institute, and I’m living with my mother.” Continue reading
Chart of the male reproductive organs. Image.
That first day at Abel Bravo College I found myself in our classroom pretending to read a book in my attempt to isolate myself from the rest of the boys. This, after all, had been the way I had developed to protect myself from any emotional attacks I feared would follow me from Panama City. Continue reading
Those events of my youth and our history, as West Indian Panamanians, up to and following my experience in Abel Bravo College, had always managed to shock me. It had always been difficult for me to understand that what unfolded before my eyes were the first steps toward madness and family dysfunction in the making. So that all those years in our upbringing had us hauling around all that emotional baggage and, in fact, tripping over it. Continue reading
Coming from a legacy of a colonial era gone by when betrayal and self-hatred was part of the way of life for our people, I could safely say that Iwas really suffering in its aftermath. It had begun leaving its imprint on us as individuals and as a community in many sickly ways. Even today we continue to manifest these traits of a disastrous inheritance leaving us as an unsound people. Continue reading