Author Archives: Roberto Reid

A Picnic With the Adventists of Bocas

gossipUpon reaching home that day after the interview with the Lady Governor I excitedly reported on the meeting to my sister Aminta and to Pug. It was in that moment that I started to really feel fierce hunger pangs as I hadn’t eaten all day. Since my sister was the cook in the house and Pug just couldn’t cut it as a cook, I battled hunger; counting on lunch and dinner had become a major problem, since I could not stand Chinese food as part of my daily diet. It seemed like Pug was getting her sustenance by visiting her mother in Almirante on almost a daily basis. Continue reading

On My Way to Becoming a Teacher

Entrance to the Normal de Santiago de Veraguas.

Entrance to the Normal de Santiago de Veraguas.

It had been a day to remember for me and one of the happiest days of my life. Just to be in the presence of that Lady Governor listening to all that she had to tell me, had awed me. All I could say was ¨Si, Señora! I sure will, Señora.¨ As I left her home, I had said- without flinching- “Thank you very much, Señora, for I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve my country.” Satisfied with this fortuitous visit, I had been too awed to even look up as she led me to the door and stood there in the door way as I left the premises. I was overjoyed to be there at this momentous meeting with the Lady Governor- something strange for even the likes of me.  Continue reading

The Lady Governor

maestrodiadelBocas, being the way it was sizing up to be, found me, for the next week or so staying busy like the trails of ants I often saw just moving the leftover refuse from that churchyard to the beach.  I had decided to use my trustworthy crocus bag and cart to help me tote everything away. The pile of dead branches and cuttings from the hardwood tree appeared to be shrinking. Continue reading

Domestic Problems- Anger


While burning the trash from the churchyard job, a strong sea breeze kicked up to cool me off. As I worked I started to think about the Reverend Lady I had just met and I decided to do a good job as the challenge of finally getting rid of all the trash the job had produced troubled me. By the eighth day on the job I felt satisfied that the yard was looking good enough to be called neat. I then went to see the Reverend to report on my progress. Continue reading

The Churchyard

Potable water was always hard to find in Bocas Town.  Image

Potable water was always hard to find in Bocas Town. Image

Within the next few days I was climbing the stairs to speak to the Reverend Lady I was seeking. After being ushered into her parlor she said that she would be glad to pay me three dollars, “If only you could clean up that yard.” I promised her that I would start on the job the next day after seeing what I had to do to get it looking like someone cared for the church. That very day I went over to the churchyard to assess what I would need to get that overgrown yard under control. Continue reading

The Dream of Teaching in Bocas del Toro


Since gossip traveled faster in Bocas then than the internet news travels today, I was eager to know what my landlord had to say to me. When I got there the man met me on his balcony before I could open my mouth to plead my case. Even before I said anything, he said to me, “ Juni, I see you trying to make it here and I just wanted to tell you to have James to take you over next to his place to stake out a piece of land and you just mark out a piece for yourself. You plant something for yourself… work the land.” I was taken aback by this sympathetic reception but, I remained silent. Continue reading