Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kuna Yala

We made it down to the San Blas Islands, known to the locals as Kuna Yala. This place is really pretty amazing. It is a large group of very small islands surrounded by very large reefs. It is completely run by the traditional Kunas. Short, dark and friendly people. They speak Kuna along with a fair amount of decent Spanish. They live on a few of the islands in a very dense packing and are a selg-governing district of the Republic of Panama. The other islands are empty or have some small, palm thatched huts that get used temporarily. They generate some good cash from making molas and selling them to touristas and yachties. The molas are traditional embroidery patterns on approx. 18 inch rectangel material that is placed on the front and back of women's blouses. As I write this Chris and Lisa are looking through molas from Alejeadro. He just paddled up in his dug out canoe with two plastic trash cans with molas in them. If we keep this purchasing up, I'll have to send Chris back to work.
The other day we had Mola Lisa come on board for an hour and half of education and mola marketing. Lisa is a famous, transvestite mola maker. She would have stayed on the boat as long as we wanted to chit-chat.
John and Lisa, my brother and sister-in-law, are getting a good dash of 'this ain't Kansas anymore' vacation time.
Tomorrow we are off to dive a wreck on the reef if the sun is out.
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