Monday, September 20, 2010

Bolivar Camacho

Better known as Camacho is a well spoken, generous, local man we met the first time we cruised up this river. He gave us fruits and invited us to his place. We told him we would be back and he remembered. We just came back from his house. He owns 11 acres of an island where he has plantations of corn, lemons, bananas, pejivalles, sugar cane, mangoes and more, he has chickens, a cat and 2 pigs. He occasionally has boas, Panamanian jaguars, scorpions and “chitre” (no-see-ums), not really intended. He chooses to live by himself, but has a wife, 7 children, more grandchildren and great-grand children who live in the area. He confesses he loves the quietness of the jungle and the farm work, but he gets his social fixes with the cruisers, fishermen and the family that visits on weekends and holidays.

We walked up the hill to his house where he gave us a tour, there were 2 buildings and a few chicken coops. The house in the front, overlooking the water was for guests, the house behind is where he had his bedroom and a kitchen. It was fascinating for me! He explains in a soft, pleasant and confident mode how his day develops; gets up, lights up the fire, places the pot on one of the racks, puts the coffee in the sock and prepares a delicious coffee to start his morning, he will then work on a culinary project, maybe make some coconut oil, work on the production of “chicha” (fermented drinks) or smoke a fish. He then goes harvest, plant, feed the animals or visit someone. When is time to rest he will come back to the kitchen, sit on the hammock, turn on the radio and light up his pipe. He says, he never feels tired, he loves his life as it is and I can tell. He has had an interesting life; as a military man he was in the Middle East, then he became a police officer in the province of Chiriqui and now that he is retired he is a farmer. He received some training on how to survive in the jungle and share with us some of the trick… a little late, considering we are heading to the dessert.

Again it is simplicity that captivates me about this man and his life style!

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