I just finished reading Isabell McAren’s book Becoming in Boquete, about her life in our little village, but more importantly, her life in the same compound where I currently live. I wish I had met Izzy, but she returned to the States several months before we relocated here. Although she changed many names, the personalities are familiar to me. Her book was fascinating!
Izzy lived in the house next door. A wonderful young couple live there now. David and I currently live in “Henry’s” house. Thankfully, the rude “Alina” has moved on and delightful Olivia is now in the house with the outdoor patio. The other two units are vacant. “Marta” is still the landlady, the only character from the book who has not changed.
Henry was reunited with his first wife and moved back to the States. He left almost everything behind. I don’t know if he wanted to travel light or if wife #1 didn’t want anything that belonged to wife #2. It worked out very well for us since they left a well equipped kitchen. They also left a lot of furniture. Depending on who you talk to, Henry either sold rotten junk for a lot of money to ‘poor’ Marta or he only got a little money for some fine furniture. I do not know how much money changed hands but – the dining room furniture is very nice and probably quite expensive. The living room furniture was made of corn husks and was full of borer beetles. This furniture had to be replaced. I do not know why Henry and wife #1 bought furniture for a furnished rental. Marta was not happy about this expense. On the positive side, we got new furniture and the name of a man who does great woodwork.
Alina’s silver house is now a really cute cottage. The silver paint is gone. The brown walls are gone. Olivia has painted everything white and blue. She added a bunch of personal items and it is adorable. Alina used to play the theme from Titanic full blast. Olivia is so quite, you seldom know if she’s home. We still use her outdoor patio for parties though. One is planned for next week to welcome back our neighbors who have been housesitting.
S and K live in Izzy’s old house. S is a man of many talents. He has quite an eclectic background and he’s very interesting. He showed us how to cross the border in Rio Sereno and can fix anything. K is a fantastic cook and hilariously funny. She provides much of what people in Boquete eat when they go out. The smells that come from her kitchen will make your mouth water. We are planning a party for them on their return from housesitting and it will be on Olivia’s patio.
Marta still comes and goes to and from California. I am envious when other people talk about their fabulous landlords. Not that Marta hasn’t been anything but nice to us, but she does have a reputation. Even more so since this book has been published. We cannot get our entrance wall fixed because she has a habit of not paying her workers. She finally fixed the leak in the roof in the entrance area. Her gardeners quit constantly. She bought us (her) beautiful new furniture for the living room. Now that I read what happened in our little compound last year, I am keeping every receipt, taking even more pictures, and recording everything for posterity so we get our deposit back when we leave. When you may get blamed and charged for killing a eucalyptus tree because it hadn’t rained, I know what I am dealing with. BTW, the tree is now big and gorgeous so it wasn’t dead at all.
Izzy was involved in the BCP so most of the people I know, she knew as well. People still talk about her performance in Enchanted April. We also have many of the same friends. I go to Ladies Night and act silly. Alex, Vickie, Dana and Fene are gone, some permanently and some not. I work with the squirrel owner at the clinic. The chickens that woke Izzy up in the morning have been replaced by six barking dogs. Most importantly, the chaotic living conditions she experienced at the compound have mellowed. It is a great place to live and I love it. The best part is that I love my neighbors and none of them are crazy, rude or loud.