Real Estate and Lifestyle at Panama`s Historic City
Last night we were walking our dog nearby Las Clementinas at Casco Viejo when I heard laughter rising louder and louder. Chispa, who loooovesss children, started pulling me like crazy towards the small placita (Plaza Arango) and there they were: bunch of kids playing as kids used to play! Somehow nostalgia took over when I saw them all cramped up at the flag pole trying to climb on each other to see how many could fit at the same time in such small space. They kept falling like apples from a tree (well, falling or being pushed… jejeje) .
Then they quickly came to say hi to the dog and decided on another game: the classic jumping on top of each other like frogs. I had not seen that one in a while!!!! at least not performed naturally in the street, I teach it at my ballet school, but most of the time I get blank stares from the girls at the beginning, because they really don`t know what I`m talking about. When they finally get it, they have a blast… but these kids at the street where doing it naturally… as it used to be before videogames took over. Deep breath and sigh!
And this hasn´t been the first time I´ve seen them “just having fun”. Last time they had the classic long rope and where actually jumping in it, something that seems now an image pulled out from a vintage magazine. Not to mention the group I saw a month ago at Las Bovedas sliding full speed on a big piece of cardboard down the stairs, big smile on their faces.
Walking back, we passed by the Cathedral plaza. Another group of kids were on bikes and those who weren´t started some sort of football game where somehow the main objective seemed to be to pile up on top of the one kid. You sort of feel bad about it for a second (specially if it happened to you back in the days), but it is also part of growing up. I think parents back then used to call it “character building” or being a good sport. You always had your chance to get back to your friends on the next round. When the kids stood up I saw the one at the bottom and he had a huge smile on his face. Stood up immediately and started running after the others. The game continued, probably with another consenting victim at the bottom of the human pile.
Somehow I believe this social interaction with games that put your physical energy to work and by the way teaches you team work and social behavior is valuable and should not be lost. I`m glad Casco Viejo is still full of kids that jump rope, slide stairs and do silly games. Somehow I think it fits well with this 338 year old colonial town, and even more, it fits well with being human.