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A Homemade Christmas in El Valle, Panama

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Written by Robert E. Baker   
Tuesday, 02 October 2007 07:33
The following is a great account of Christmas spent in El Valle, cialis Panama by Robert Baker.
We drove up to the interior for Christmas and spent some time in the mountains of El Valle where it was cooler,  and then we drove down to the beach at Playa Blanca with sun and waves almost crashing at your door.  We took the dogs with us and left El Valle Christmas day after opening all the presents Santa delivered. 

The dogs love the sand where they have an opportunity to chase sea gulls and horses, play in the waves and challenge those noisy 4-wheel scooters that race down the beach and otherwise enchant the tourists (mostly German and Canadian).  But before we left El Valle I experienced something worth noting.

Two nights before Christmas and there was an adorable Christmas procession down the small main street of the little native  town of El Valle and Bobby had gone to see it with his nanny, Velkis.  It was supposed to have been over at about 8:00 PM so Monica asked me to drive down to get them. Boo had been with Velkis at her parents house and they had walked to the church to see the festivities.  I drove down to pick them up at the appointed time but the procession was late and had not arrived yet so I looked for Bobby and waited.

There were about 500 natives in front of the church, up and down both sides of the street and as one walked by you could see all the brown faces and dark hair with just one little white gringo  kid standing in the middle. Actually, Bobby was sitting on one of the elevated entrance posts that are on either side of the walkway entering the church. Velkis was holding his hand to make sure he did not fall off. You could tell by his smiling face how excited he was so I settled in to enjoy the wait. 

When the procession finally arrived it was about 8:30 PM and it was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. We have all seen the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York or the Orange Bowl parades, etc. This was a Christmas parade - El Valle style.  Picture a 40-foot long flatbed truck, (the kind that carry containers) all decorated with palm trees and flashing Christmas bulbs, silver, red, green, and gold sequins reflecting off the sides and a native driver  dressed as Santa.

Instead of prancing and preening reindeers to pull Santa, imagine  18 wheelers with chalk colored designs on them. Above on the flatbed there were about 10 -12 children, each dressed in red and white, all wearing a blinking, flashing Santa cap and waving at the crowd, throwing out candy as they passed. Very cute. At the end of the flatbed was the live nativity scene that was also done with children wearing regular clothes set against a background of colored paper with school drawn designs.  Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus were all there, including the three wise men. 

Following behind the flatbed came the first row of 5 or 6 cute girls dressed as Santas, all with blinking hats and playing xylophones as they marched in place.  Behind them was a row of bigger boys each pounding on drums as if you had a problem hearing. Behind them another line of 4-5 kids playing flutes, then another line with bugles. They all were dressed in red and white with flashing and blinking Santa hats. What a sight!! Boo was thrilled.

It was an adorable scene and stopped right in front of the church where we were standing. After an quick pause, they immediately went into their lively and upbeat rendition of "Jingle Bells". The kids on the flatbed swayed back and forth to the rhythm of the music while they threw candy to the cheers and squeals of the children, simultaneously waving like a mayor running for reelection.

The cute xylophone girls did Rockette-type high steps as they now marched in place with a Christmas spirit that lit up the town. The boys in row two beat the heck out of their drums while the flutes and horns added a festive tone to a lovely evening. Then fireworks streamed high into the dark sky and exploded in bright reds and green displays of mini-grandeur to mark the grand finale.  Gosh, if you could have been there to capture that happy and picturesque scene! The whole procession was beautiful and made me feel so lucky to have been there and thrilled that Boo had such an exhilarating experience.  It was a night to remember and only could have been better if Monica had come along.
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Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 22:47