My Visit to a Bush Farm

The kind of farm I dreamed of having.  Image thanks to SoleJourner.

The kind of farm I dreamed of having. Image thanks to SoleJourner.

The dip in the sea had made up for anything I considered wrong with my life then; whatever might have tried to depress me had simply vanished from me. Also, in my routine walk out to the runway spigot to get water, I would also bath there, leaving me renewed and refreshed to continue fetching the much needed potable water. In the meantime, I had heard that Little Man had taken the boat to Colon. I decided to hide from his boss, the Indian guy, not wanting to make any commitments. Though the ride to Baseline was free, I was adverse to wanting to attract any more trouble by going up there with Pug trailing me.

At this point my sister Aminta suddenly showed up with her first born baby boy whom she had named Carlos or “Carlito.” He was my first nephew and I immediately knew that my mother or maybe Pug’s mother or grandmother had been the source of my sister finding us in Bocas Town. Since Aminta was there to look for work, she immediately found someone to leave the baby boy with before reaching me.

Although I had made very few friends in Bocas Town, I would later find out that some people knew about me and my life, people who I would have occasion to meet later on in life. But it had been during that time that I would receive an invitation from James Campbell to visit his bush farm. James Campbell was Pug’s Aunt Roberta’s husband. For the first time I would find out that he had a truck farm, a place on one of the many islands off the coast of Bocas like the one I had recently visited with my Mulatto friend. The idea was that I could get permission to reserve a piece of land for myself and begin a little farm to help sustain my family. But, I would need a canoe to get out there and owning a canoe would have been a real asset to me except that I didn’t know anyone except for James who owned one. I also didn’t know anyone in the area who would rent or sell me a canoe. Again, I found myself out of options to avail myself of this opportunity to work the land.

So, again, time and circumstances ill afforded me the chance to work a piece of land of my own in those days, so by the time my sister Aminta arrived in town it seemed like I had two choices, go back to Baseline to work on the plantation, or stay and see if I could make some money to pay my way back to Colon. I kind of refused to discuss the issue with Pug because I remembered her negative attitude whenever I had tried to discuss returning to live in Panama and my attending school to graduate at the National Institute. I decided to keep my next move strictly to myself.

The first week my sister Aminta was there she landed a job in an Chinese Restaurant on the night shift which allowed her to be at home all day and keep my young Chinese wife company. Since they had been friends long before I had arrived in Colon, there was little friction at home. I felt great for my sister being there and so I accepted the job of selling milk around town that my pal Little Man had been doing.

But the job entailed more than selling milk from gallon jugs. Having two growing infants at home it seemed a perfect job since it was a way of providing fresh milk daily for the thriving babies. So, this was how I got to meet Mrs Williams, the owner of the herd of cows and also owner of the ranch where I not only worked but also slept in the room next to her kitchen since I had to be up by dawn to milk the cows before day break. I would then make my route walking around town all day selling milk until I got back to lock up the heifers’ milk. She also provided me with a horse to make my way back to her farm on horseback after leaving him tied up near feed and water all day waiting for me to take me home again.

This story continues.

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