So, this has been a rather quiet week for us...just training, no movies or galavanting across the country. So I figure I can take a moment to tell you about one of the every day realities of life in Panama...lodo. Lodo is the Spanish word for mud.
In acctuallity we have not yet had any really deep shoe sucking mud momemts here yet (they say that it is just a matter of time). And, before you get the wrong mental image of a country that is just one big muddy road lined by deep forboading jungle let me tell you that that had not been my expereince. When it rains here we do get mud. I have seen two different types....the sitcky stuff and the not sticky stuff. I don´t know what the diffence is, but the path behind our house is a whiteish soil that is firm and does not ever get slick or sticky. It makes a very nice path.
The more common type of mud here is red in color and sticky as can be. It is not uncommon while working in the garden to get a 2" layer of mud stuck to the bottom and sides of your shoes. When it gets that big the wieght eventually causes it to peel free and you start up a new layer. It is persistantly sticky. I have left my shoes to dry for a day or two and gone out to hit the mud off and had it not come free. When using tools like a shovel it is common to have to stop and use a stick or machete to clean the mud off of the tool so that it doesn´t interfere with your work. Digging in Panama is hard work...much harder than back home. The soil feels more dense and heavy.
The red mud drains quickly and dries (well, as dry as it gets here...not to the dusty stage) to a nice firm surface. The only areas that seem to stay persistantly yucky are low lying wetspots that get heavy traffic. Something funny, I once thought that I had the start of a good sandal tan...just to wash my feet and find that they had been stained by the mud.
Stay tuned for more postings on life in Panama - including a posting on "Los Diablos Rojos"!