Entrance to Mt. Hope Cemetery in Colon, Republic of Panama.
But, Miss Ethel Levy’s wake would turn out to be a revealing one for me in particular. It was attended by mostly her family and close friends crowded into the Chapel at the Mount Hope Cemetery. I never did look forward to these things and the actual viewing of my close friend’s remains was brief. So I hung out outside together with my acquaintances listening to the Albert “Nick” Brown the tailor- Miss Levy’s only son- give a running account of the events leading up to his mother demise. Continue reading
I was more intent on my future and getting my transcripts from Abel Bravo to then connect with the people at the Ministry of Education building in Panama City with those documents. The Ministry, in fact, was in my neighborhood Calidonia. Once I was finished there, I would head back to Bocas Town and there await notification of my appointment to teach. Continue reading
The silence between Pug and me spoke for itself that day. She had searched my face diligently as we walked on that lonely country road, going home with the baby boy. Then we both stopped for her to shift the baby boy to her other. Suddenly I said, “Since you don’t want to have anything to do with me anymore, tell me, how am I going to get money to make it back to Colon?” She took her time and then insisted, “My family don’t want me to have anything to do with you Juni, but the Chinaman has promised me some money. Furthermore, he even knows about you going to be a teacher soon, and all that.” Continue reading
That day, as we walked home from the picnic with the Seventh Day Adventist community, Pug become talkative, wanting to open up a conversation with me that she had apparently been rehearsing with herself for a while. “Juni,” she said carefully, “I want to discuss something with you but, I don`t want you to get vex with me or get so upset with me.“ I braced myself for what I thought was the inevitable. She then continued gathering a little more strength in her voice.”It is that I want to tell you that I want a separation because I don’t want to be with you anymore.” Continue reading
Official logo of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Image.
Seventh Day Adventist School in Calidonia/Marañon Area of Panama City circa 1945. Image thanks to our friend Carlos Cox.
My encounter with the Seventh-Day Adventist community in Bocas Town sparked my curiosity as to the origins of this tightly knit group which, at the time, was mainly composed of descendants of West Indian people. As such, I’ve borrowed from an excellent account written by Clifton L. Holland entitled Status of Christianity Country Profile: Panama to provide you with a good historical background. Continue reading
Upon 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