I know it is election time back home and we are missing the whole glorious debacle. However we will still be in Panama for their 2009 election. Every 5 years all the political positions in the Panamanian government turn over at once. Take that continuity. Last Sunday our tiny community hosted a soccer game, was visited by a medical clinic and a presidential candidate.Ricardo Martinelli is a very rich businessman, so he has the money to run an effective campaign.

He also has the money to visit us in a helicopter. I talked with him briefly explaining what we are doing in town. He had heard of Peace Corps, and informed me. “It is good of you to give your time. These people have nothing. God will repay you.” I wanted to tell him not to knock our town, but I kept it to myself. In comparison to other rural communities ours is fairly wealthy.
Three days later another helicopter landed in the soccer field, and I wondered why Martinelli had returned. It was actually the phone company and they had come to collect the coins from the three public phones in the area. We have been told that they come in a helicopter to collect the change, but we did not believe. I told one of the men that it is not worth using a helicopter to collect so little money. He said that he didn't pay for the helicopter and that the phone company does not own the helicopter they only rented it... for $1300 per hour. I asked why they did not come in a truck, and he said, “You can get here in a truck?”

1 comment:

  1. robert dunn2/03/2009

    Seriously the come to get the phone change in a helicopter what town is this???