The fist time we spent some time with the Kuna indigenous tribes was on our second or third day. We were invited to have a lobster dinner on the island with the tribe. Before dinner we basically spent our day wandering the island and snorkeling the waters. I found a shell that I wanted to keep, so I kept it with me to later ask the chief if it was ok that I kept it (he said yes:))
Now, while most of the islands are absolute paradise, one must also keep in mind the currents. The currents tend to bring trash from the ocean and basically dump that trash onto portions of the island. The tribes basically just burn all their trash (since they don’t make much of it to begin with) and to my knowledge don’t clean up the trashed areas from the currents. So not to get back up on my soap box here, but really if any of you reading this make it to the San Blas Islands, please be cognizant of the waste you produce and leave behind. Otherwise some of that waste that is neglectfully dumped in the ocean could ruin an otherwise perfect island vacation… I’m just saying lets all do our part!! 🙂
Ok, I’m done with that rant… Anyway, so as night came we went onto the island and had a lobster dinner caught fresh and prepared for us that evening!! Of course we did have to pay a small fee for the dinner (another way the tribe makes money) but it was worth it:) Just to have the experience of that nature, it was worth it!! The people of the tribe weren’t necessarily very social by any means, rather they were quite shy in a lot of ways, but they were very courteous and pleasant! The island chief ate a little distance away from us sitting near a campfire and an old TV set. I don’t recall it actually being on, but there was an old radio nearby that was… There was a game on that night… LOL!!
Anyway, the evening was basically spent enjoying the food and the company. At one point I wandered off to the water and once again became mesmerized as I watched little waves crash on the shore, each one lit up by that ever beautiful phosphorescent algae!! I wandered in a bit as well just to play my hands in the water, disturbing the surface to make my own glowing shapes in the sea. So peaceful and beautiful!! And talk about a night sky!! My goodness!!!! So brilliantly full of shimmering lights… I thought I was impressed with the night sky of Puerto Viejo, but my goodness, literally being in the middle of “nowhere” with no lights coming from anywhere except a bonfire, that night sky really glows!! It was just a very awe-inspiring moment for sure.
Before leaving for the night, myself and the German woman bought an anklet from the tribe women. I still have mine on my ankle to this day, and it’s now been over 2 years since I’ve been to the islands! I figured that when it fell off naturally that would be it but its still holding on strong! On our way back to the boat the boys started a little bonfire for us to hang around as we waited for our “taxi” back to the boat:)