This month I will be with my 6th, and final, Panamanian host family EVER. It´s a real shame because I got the whole thing down to a science.
This particular family is actually in another town - an up-and-down hill 30 minutes away. The house is actually split in 2, divided by a street. The main house has 2 bedrooms, a living area, and kitchen, plus an additional caseta for the fogon (wood- burning stove complete with firewood). The house across the way is where I stay. It´s simply a barn loft that´s open below but has 4 bedrooms above. The latrine situation is the same as before - the shower is inside, next to the latrine.
It´s like living in an ecolodge. I can look out the windows and see the mountains above me with the billowing clouds slowly passing by or look below at the orchard of coffee and oranges. I can pick an orange and then walk over to one of the creeks to eat it (there are 2). The weather here is perfect for sleeping. I need 2 blankets in fact. There is a great amount of nocturnal life too. I often wake up to the sound of scratching or screeching outside. The abundance of orchids and flowers is too much to take in. The aroma of coffee is everywhere. I often read in bed with the windows open and take in the view of the flora and fauna, the sounds of the birds and creek, and the smells of the pine house and coffee.
Coffee is big business here. It is sold to Cafe Ruiz in Boquete, a major destination for quality coffee. There is an organization here, Fuente de Vida, comprising the coffee producers in the city. They are very progressive, very involved in organics. They have specific goals and work very hard towards achieving them. They are a pleasure to work with.