San Blas 09:19:60N 78:15:20W

Superted V
Jean & Matt Findlay
Mon 15 Nov 2010 22:16

Snug Harbour


Tuesday in Mulatupu - we had lots of visitors in their ulus (dugouts) come to see us - some to say hola and some just to look!  We were invited by one man (Mr. Green) to go with him to the village in the afternoon - he took us first to see the chief who gave us the official welcome to their village then charged us $5!  We then had a quick tour of the village - mainly huts made of reed walls and thatched roofs - all very neat and tidy -  each house has 2 rooms and a 'bano' which is a small cubicle (some appear to be directly over the sea).  No furniture except a wooden bench and table and a couple of plastic chairs and hammocks to sleep in.  Mr Green took us to meet his family and shared their dinner with us - coconut rice and bananas.  In exchange we gave the women some of the reading glasses we had brought and despite what it says in the books they wanted photos taken but they first went to put on make up and their best 'molas'. They are quite small - Matt took one of me with 2 of the women and I look big!  My Spanish is improving daily - although most of them speak Kuna language which is quite different from Spanish, some of them do speak Spanish and it's much easier to understand them than true Spanish speakers. Wednesday we had a visit from one of the school teachers who teaches English and visits again from some of the children - we were explaining to them that the boat was called Superted after the bear - which they thought was great! It’s great to see them paddle their huge ulus - one little boy of 11 came out the first time by himself - his boat handling skills amazing - they never let their ulu bang into the boat - even the tiny ones of 4 and 5 are told by their friends to keep the ulu off the boat (we now have hundreds of little hand prints on the side of the boat). They are always smiling. One little girl keeps asking to see Superted (the bear) and giggles like mad as she takes off his skin. The little ones go to school at 7am and finish at 11am then the bigger ones go at 12 until 5pm - about 600 pupils and 40 teachers in total. Wednesday afternoon we went for a canoe down the river to the cemetery (small huts on the hillside)- Matt was on the windsurfer and we came across a crocodile - I've never seen him move so quick (Matt not the crocodile)!  I only saw a small splash but did see something crocodile looking on the way back at the same place.  Thursday - I took the canoe into the jetty this morning at 7am to get bread but had to wake the baker up! So no bread.  Rained hard all day.  Friday sailed to Mamitupu about 20 miles away.  Very traditional island with strict rules – the congresso meets every day at 5pm – all the men must attend – if they don’t they have to spend 2 days in a small shelter at the end of the island checking the boats in and out (they check in their days’ haul of coconuts and bananas etc).  Quite by chance met one of the local expert mola makers – Abeila and bought a few molas – beautiful work.  Sunday sailed to Snug Harbour – caught a little tunny and a small horse eyed jack on the way – first fish for a while.