Another day in this frontier town. I am amazed by what I have seen,  even
    though I grew up in Brasil and traveled the Amazon, which has so many
    similarities to this area.

    It is kind of late and we just came back from dinner. That is, Russell and
    I. Jerry came earlier. We had dinner in this simple Italian restaurant. The
    owners, an Italian lady and her husband, are so nice. We ate there twice.
    The food is so good and so simple. We feasted in this simple salad, fresh
    lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and green peppers, and
    good bread and pasta with shrimp. The wine was not too good because it is
    hot and they keep the wine at room temperature. But the Panama cerveja
    cold and the right choice for the evening. Our captain, Russell, made
    the right choice.
    This is Saturday night and just like the other nights, the town is alive.
    No one is home. Everybody is outside and  all the stores are open as if it
    4PM. It looks like every night is party night.

    After dinner we went to the local hospital because Russell has a skin rash
    that doesn't go away. We took a land taxi that was already pretty full of
    local people and rode to the outskirts of town where the hospital is. At the
    front room, we were greeted by this big, friendly, warm, attentive,
    Caribbean man. He was dressed in white and had a smile as big as he. We
    thought he was the Dr. but he said that the Dr. was the other guy next to
    us. Theresa, our shipmate, had been there this afternoon and was greeted
    him as an old friend.

    The Dr. only spoke Spanish but the male nurse, a really nice man,
    spoke English. The Dr. looked at Russell's skin and prescribed something. I
    asked what was the problem and he said (at least this is what I understood)
    it was "ongo". He and the nurse tried to explain it to us and the most we
    understood was that it had to do with a lot of moisture causing some type of
    dermatitis. He gave us a prescription for a cream to be applied 2x/day. It
    did not cost us  anything but we insisted in leaving them some money. I left
    thinking how right or wrong was he, and in a few weeks we will know.
    Sometimes these Drs. in small towns like this have seen so much and they
    have to use their guts to diagnose conditions without use of any of the
    technology we have in more advance places.
    Anyway, we walked for a few blocs looking for a land taxi, stopped in a
    drugstore to buy the cream and then took a water taxi to come to our boat.

    Now it is time to go to bed. Sleep comes so easy in the Free Spirit, the
    gentle sway of the boat being the best sleeping aid.

    My love to you all,
Updated: Jan. 14, 2008