I think my Spanish is getting better. I managed to be indignant in Spanish on camera for the Panamanian news.
There was an impromptu protest today to raise attention about the lack of water in town. Some areas have been without water for 2 weeks, including our favorite restaurant and my good friend’s hotel. We personally have not been affected much, thanks partly to our big tank that refills itself as needed. If there are times with no water we haven’t noticed it lately.
But I went to the protest partly because it was blocking my road on the way home from pilates and mostly to support my fellow Pedasi residents. There were a lot of locals there, which is how you know the situation is getting bad. There was chanting (“Queremos agua”) and some signs and TV crews as well. The mayor showed up and was quick to point out to me that garbage is now being picked up twice a week. Look, a squirrel!
Anyway, I decided to get involved mostly due to the lack of water at the school. With no water they frequently send the kids home. If they stay at school, there’s no water for bathrooms or hand washing. The water truck sometimes goes to the school to fill their tank but this is not a permanent solution nor is it very reliable. So I decided to use my angle as a gringa mother with kids at school and I went and got pretty indignant with the mayor, who was right next to the news camera. It didn’t take long before I got their attention and soon I was on camera. I spoke about the health issue, or the education issue if they send the kids home due to lack of water. I said I live here, my kids go to school here and we want to be here, but if there’s no water it’s a big issue and I won’t have it. I just won’t. It sounded a lot better in Spanish. There are some good words for this!
So we’ll see if I make it on to the news but at the very least I got my point across and let them know that I had a stake in the town too. I hope that our house has water at this moment because after all that time outside I now need to take a shower.
Update: A few weeks later when I was chatting at my neighbor’s house, her cousin from Las Tablas said she saw me on the news!