The second time we spent with the Kuna tribes was actually never supposed to happen… I’ve already written about the storm that I thought would literally claim my life and that we ended up having to stay an extra day on the islands, taking shelter nearby one because of the storm. Well, it was because of that storm that we got to have some more time with the indigenous tribe.
In the morning after the storm I remember waking and getting out onto the deck. Circling the sailboat in canoes were tribesmen. I went to alert one of the crew and after a chat with them, we all learned that we had been invited onto the island for a look-see. Apparently not far from where we had docked for the night in the storm another boat had been, but sadly had suffered a different fate… For it ended up sinking and having seen this occur the Kuna people had been busy all morning going back and forth from the sinking boat collecting goods aboard it. Since we were on the way, they stopped in to say hello!
The funny thing here is that unlike the previous island and tribe, this second island was much more advanced! The first island only had a few shelters in the “town” which were basically just the homes of the tribe. The second island by comparison basically had a proper town with a school, several houses with yards, shops of sorts, and even roads (albeit unpaved:))!!
We canoed our way onto the island where we were invited on by a very chatty native. He was young, only about 20 but was already married with a couple of kids. You could tell this guy really knew business and how to work people! He was charming and proud of his home and his village and he knew how to get what he needed or wanted to support his family and village. He showed us around the village and even showed us inside his own home. Now, in order to take pictures even of the people or the village, we had to ask permission. It is considered very rude to take pictures of the people and their homes or villages without their consent first. So while I did ask permission to take pictures and was granted permission, I won’t include any that may have people in them to respect the tribes people. However, I do really, REALLY with I was able to take a picture of the inside of the guys house… The outside was basic, just cane tied together to form walls and leaves as a roof… However, when you stepped inside you noticed a dirt floor, several hammocks hanging (one for each member of the family) a chest of drawers and on top of the drawers…. A 50″ flat screen TV!!!! Not kidding either!!! The place was absolutely basic to the bones in every respect and then there was a brand new flat screen TV…. Seriously made me laugh!! And once again supported that the guy knew business!! Apparently he would go onto the mainland of Panama every so often and pick up supplies for the village…
Anyway, that was that. We wandered the island and village, had some coffee at the house of our host then got canoed back to our ship so we could travel on.