August 23, 2010

The Water is Wide in Panama

The water will have it's way... every time.
No matter  how much time and money is spent  o fortify what used to be a ribbon of river streaming through our town, and what now  esembles a fortress, a canal, the river still goes where the river will.

Early this morning, the day after last night's sudden flooding in our valley, I took a drive through the valley to take in the after flow.  Literally.  Because some of this river is still flowing where it didn't.

This photo is not mine. But it is exactly what  I faced at 7:00 this morning as I  stood, mouth agape, at the sight of  "The Rock" -- a popular riverside dining spot here in Boquete.

Carrying tree trunks, boulders and debris, the  river snubbed the newly placed wall of boulders, or perhaps it just changed it's course entirely, and slammed into the side of the restaurant, which sits now on a sea of rock and sand, windows gone.
Where Nairn and I sat serenely six weeks ago, happily enjoying a riverside lunch, there are now only walls, walls without windows, walls nestled in mud, sand and water.  As I walked away, a gentleman (perhaps the owner?) commented tongue in cheek  "We're temporarily closed for business."

The B&B a hundred yards up from this still had part of the river running through it when I pulled away.

Ditto for the lovely home a few blocks down from our house.  The deep, main river that ran along it's side seems to have stayed its course. However, the river that feeds it, and which winds its way through our neighborhood and behind this lovely stone house, overwhelmed the home entirely and last night it had to be evacuated.  I heard they had to help the gentleman residing there out with a rope.  When we passed, rain still falling, the lights on, door open, mud and water coursing through the causeway.  Boots on, a neighbor and I held onto each other, trudged through the little river, and shut the door.

A neighbor and I shut the door once the water level was safe enough to navigate. Another neighbor parked their car in the driveway to stave off thieves.  As of this morning, there appears to be water still flowing between the main house and casita.

After more than two and a half years here, after floods and mudslides and more floods, I have learned that you can't mess with a river.  Eventually, the river wins.  Below is part of the Boquete Gardens Inn which sits at an altitude over 3,000 feet.  These photos just don't depict the real life drama Larry and I beheld later this day.  The bridge was mostly gone and we heard (unconfirmed) that two cabanas were lost.  Damage throughout the valley is intermittent but serious, damage that lies in the wake of  a sea of rocks.


Gnightgirl said...

The only word I can think of is "Humbling." Glad you're ok.

Teri said...

Oh dear! Not again! Did you go through something similar to this a year or so ago? I had been wondering what had happened.... I had not heard from you for such a long time. I've sent an e-mail or two but no reply. I was beginning to wonder if you were still there. I see that you are and that life is still bringing it's challenges to your doorstep. T

News About The Boys

Mrs. Bliss told us there is a caterpillar here that is pink and fuzzy, and, if you touch it, its fur will stick in your skin and sting you! This happened to her daughter, Aylana. It was very painful and they had to pull the fibers out using tape! There are also scorpions and snakes, but I think there are more poisonous snakes in Florida.

William is busy, busy. In the morning he does his home schooling (Dad is his teacher!). Then, around 9:00 he rushes happily off to the local, Catholic, Spanish-only school where he audits the 4th grade! He's been doing some skim boarding but we are seriously missing the skating. Surfing looms in the near future. For a change we finally have kids on our street to play with, (not to mention dogs and roosters, snakes, toads, etc.) and it is wonderful making new friends. Still, William really misses his friends and family back in Sarasota. It's wonderful to get messages from the folks back home.

We send a special "Hello How Are Ya?" back to Nolen, Max, Connor, Emily W. and Teah!

Larry is Mr. Handy! Between homeschooling and making repairs on the house, he is never without something to do. And we have gone from never seeing him, to having him around all the time. Hmmmmmm.....

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