New Year's in Panama is a lot of fun. I decided to forego the multiple commercial celebrations, and declined a private party or two, to stay home and relax. I say that a little tongue in cheek, because my neighborhood is not known for going tranquilly into the holiday season or the New Year. The last New Year's eve spent here was roudy, with parties on every doorstep, a few that lasted 24 hrs non-stop, and everyone was out in the street at the stroke of midnight to watch and generate fireworks. From my back porch, there's a 180 degree view of the the skies above Jaramillo and Alto Boquete. From my front step, there's the same view of Volcan Baru and related neighborhoods.
This New Year's eve wasn't disappointing. The fireworks displays were everywhere, and surpassed a lot of "professional" productions I've observed from blankets in crowded municipal parks in California. Added to the fabulous lightshows were hundreds of small noisy firecrackers lit from just about every home, regardless of economic status. It was a joyful noise, and one couldn't help but get caught up in the emotion. (Panama is 3 hrs ahead of California---New Year's hasn't yet arrived there.)
Here's wishing everyone peace, happiness, blessings, prosperity, and good will throughout the coming year. May 2011 be extraordinary!