Boquete, Panama: Day 2

After a filling breakfast of over-easy eggs, toast, fresh fruit, and tea, our entire group boarded the bus to head to a farm for a tour.

At the farm, the owners introduced us to their various animals. A few students volunteered to feed the massive amount of chickens and other fowl. The farm was situated on a hill with an incredible view.

Views from the Panamanian farm

Once the birds had had their fill, it was time to milk the cow. Everyone took a turn milking. Eventually, we had a full pail of fresh milk to use to make queso fresco.

Everyone gathered on a small porch area to watch the process. First, a packet of thickner was added to the milk, which causes the milk to curdle. Once the milk combo sat for a little bit, one of the students began to scoop off the whey. After the majority of the whey was removed from the bowl, the cheese was placed into a strainer and the excess liquid strained off. From the strainer, the cheese is placed into rings on a plate and then put into the fridge. Our host, already had some prepared, so we skipped the “waiting stage.” Then, everyone gave the queso fresco a try with fresh cane sugar. The combination sounds crazy, but I can assure you it was absolutely divine!

After sampling the queso fresco, everyone gathered their things and walked to the other portion of the farm where the sugar cane is grown. There, we learned the importance of the crop and had the opportunity to “eat” sugarcane. You do not actually eat sugarcane, rather, you bite it and suck out the sweet juice.

Then, our guide and his uncle put stalks of sugar cane through a press to make sugarcane juice for everyone to try. To add acidity to the juice, we had the option to squeeze lime into the drink.

Once everyone was sugared up, we headed back to the farm where we ate our packed lunches. At this point in the day, the weather took a turn for the worse for a second time (during the cheese-making the sky opened up in a torrential downpour.) As a result, the whole group tried to wait out the rain for a while. Myself and Ky’shun fell asleep on the couch. All the great food wore me out!

Sleeping on our gracious hosts’ couch

After 30 or so minutes, the rain had not changed. Our bus driver (bless him) went and moved the bus to a nearby road. Everyone then sprinted to the bus in the torrential downpour.

For the rest of the rainy Thursday, I spent time lounging in our quaint cabin with Audrey and Hannah.

Leave a positive impression,

Sydney xo

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