Wednesday, November 5, 2008

La familia Bell-Miranda

As promised, here is some info on our lovely Panamanian family. We´ve been staying with them for 2 and a half weeks now and they´ve been fantastic; helping us out with our rudimentary Spanish and making us feel at home right from the start.

Guillermo and Nivia are our host parents. Nivia is really patient with us, speaking slowly and clearly and has a great sense of humour. We´ve spent some fun evenings watching films with her while she laughs her socks off! Guillermo is really kind and helpful. He runs a farm up in the mountains which grows prize-winning coffee (the best in Panama!) and vegetables. Also in this picture is their cute little dog (you´d love her, Hayley!) Fergie.

This is the abuela (grandma) of the family, Doña Tomasa. She is incredible, working from the crack of dawn until everyone else has gone to bed. She never stops cleaning or cooking and she always goes out of her way to help us out. Her husband, Guillermo senior, also lives with us. He´s 94 but still enjoys talking to us about our life back in England. Here they are together:

This is Nivia with her daughter Stephanie (18). She is at university in David and also works at a local hotel. She´s very nice and lively.

Antonio is the youngest of the three children at 16. He is such a lovely boy, always really polite and an excellent cook! He´s very creative is doing really well at school.

This photo was taken on a night out a couple of weeks ago with Mitchell, the oldest of the family. We had a lot of fun with him and his friends and it turns out he speaks really good English! Of course it´s strictly back to Spanish in the house. This holiday weekend he´s been out 4 or 5 nights in a row so he´s certainly showing us how to celebrate Panamanian style!

Last week Guillermo took us up to his farm. It was a pretty steep journey in his pick-up, bumping over pot holes in the road as we climbed up to the highest farm in Panama! It´s about 1600m above sea level so the views are stunning. Here he is in amongst the green pepper plants.

We were lucky enough to visit on a day when they were harvesting some of the peppers and taking them to market. Although we had to leave home at about 6.30 in the morning, we just about managed to gather enough energy to help out with the cleaning process!

Here are some of the peppers cleaned, packed and ready to go!

A large part of why we´ve enjoyed Boquete so much is due to the Bell Miranda family. They´ve given us a home and made us feel like part of the family. I´ll be here with them for my birthday, which will be great. It´ll be hard to leave!

Rachel x

1 comment:

Joules said...

Very nice post about your Panamanian host family in Boquete. I have to say that I'm very happy to hear that they've been a real family for you guys... that's what we try to do at Habla Ya Panama Spanish School: pick the best host family for each Spanish student!