Last night we went to the feria de David one more time to see the sites and buy souvenirs. Imagine a mix of the Calgary Stampede, Festival Western de St Tite, Old Orchard and La Ronde, with a little of the Foire Agricole de St Hyacinthe and the Toronto Exhibibition added. Then to top it off, mix in a lot of really loud music, mariachis and a few Latino crooners, and you will get a flavor of the Feria!It has been going on for over 50 years, bringing in millions of dollars for the City of David. People swarm to the fair grounds which are basically opened 24 hours per day! The streets leading up to the Feria are lined with kiosks selling everything from cell phones to sausages and brochettes. And every kiosk also has loud music blasting from its sound system.
Last night I saw huge cows and oxen that are there to compete. The men watching the animals sleep in hamacs hung behind the pens and stay there for the 10 days of the fair to make sure these valuable beasts do not get stolen. Apparently some of them are worth millions.Several of the animals have many ribbons above their stalls as they are the prize winners I saw a lasso contest wherein cowboys come riding out of the stable and try to lasso a little calf who is running around the arena with terror in his eyes. Bull fights are not permitted here in Panama so this is the closest legal thing. There are cock fights here but not at the feria thank goodness.
Due to the Feria and the Wild West atmosphere that has permeated David for the last week, I had a visitor sleeping under my window one night last week. My room gives onto a cement wall that is the remains of an abandoned house next to ours. There is about a 2 foot space between the wall of my bedroom and the wall of the other house. I heard leaves rustling under my window a few nights ago and thought it was an animal, so went back to sleep. However the next morning I heard loud snoring coming from outside my room. Thinking it was coming from another room in the house I proceeded to prepare for my daily trip to Nutre Hogar. The snoring however got louder and louder so I walked outside and to my surprise found a man sound asleep under my window....did he fall asleep with visions of sugar plums in his head after peeking into my room, or was he recovering from a night of festivities at the Feria. I hope the latter, but I admit that I am not too thrilled that anyone can come to camp in the space under my window. And I wonder why they do not use the abandoned house next door...they could have it to themselves!