December is the time of the Junta de Arroz, which could be Panama's greatest gift to the world. Unfortunately, the rest of the world just hasn't caught on yet. Check this out, cutting rice is hot, boring work so what do the Panamanians do? Turn it into a party! Get your buddies to come get drunk in a field with you while you cut and then have the ladies prepare you some tasty goodness for when you finish. The best part (to my mind) is, people work for free because they know that the guy who owns the farm is going to come cut HIS OWN rice the next week. It's so beautiful. If more things in life could be this way... just people helping each other until the job is done... the world would be a better place.
I haven't actually BEEN to a junta yet because every - single - freaking - time I get invited, something comes up. Ah well... that's just how it goes here. I actually got lost the last time, no easy task where there is really only one road in town, then got sidetracked helping my counterpart in the vivero. I tried to go but on the way back I saw the guys leaving so I knew I had missed it. The community knows I want to learn how to cut so they'll let me know. They seem excited about me joining in, or maybe they just would like the novelty of a female in the finca. I think that being a girl is a plus for this, actually. I won't be forced to drink and I won't be made fun of if I don't work very hard! Unfortunately, I think the arroz is just about cortado all over town but well see if I can help out.