Get James David Audlin's Current Book from Amazon!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Moveable Fiesta

It was my fiancée Andrea’s birthday, and we went into Volcán, the bigger community just south of Paso Ancho, for the parade in her honor. Well, truthfully, it’s an annual event in honor of the establishment of the postal system, and, given the relatively recent Pony Express kind of history of the Correos Y Telegraficos (established in 1924), there is an annual parade of equestrians through Volcán. (Another identical parade is held every 8 January to celebrate the establishment of the first factory in Panamá to make food for horses.)

Hundreds of riders come to Volcán from all over the province of Chiriquí with their beautiful horses. I was told that the Tierras Altas region doesn’t have a favorite breed (like, for instance, the affection in Vermont for the Morgan); I saw a predominance of Arabians, thoroughbreds, and paints, some Palominos, and one or two examples of just about every other breed. Nearly all appeared to be well cared for; I saw only one that needed to be briskly curried, and another that was frothing and trying to throw her bit, a sure sign that the wrong bit was used or that it wasn’t fitted properly.

The riders were of all ages and both genders. Most appeared to be Panamanians, but I saw one gringo, one Asian girl, and a few Native Americans mixed in (probably hired hands). I loved seeing children, as many as three, seated in front of their parents on the same horse, and one proud little boy all alone on his own small horse!

Everyone was clearly enjoying the event, including the crowd of people lining the main road in Volcán, the various entrepreneurs selling fried chicken or second-hand hats, and the dozen dozens of riders. At one point I kissed Andrea’s hand, and some young guys behind us started whistling with amusement, to tease us old folks for being romantic. So I turned and announced to the people around us that now our secret relationship was out and my honor was sullied. Everyone laughed.

As the parade wound down we did the traditional “promenade”, walking down the street looking for friends and relatives to visit with, past the parked cars with huge stereo speakers blasting bad music into the street while people with situational hearing loss stood around drinking beer.

* * *

As they come to me to be written, new chapters will be added to this blog, so stay tuned! But the blogs up to a certain point are now chapters are now in a book.

So, to read more, you need the book A WRITER IN PANAMÁ.

The book is available in three formats:

HARDCOVER (large-size edition, photographs on nearly every page)
SOFTCOVER (large-size edition, photographs on nearly every page)
SOFTCOVER (smaller size edition, no interior photographs)
E-BOOK (all versions available, including Kindle and Nook, no photographs)

To browse or order, CLICK HERE!

The book is also available through Amazon (USA, Great Britain, and continental Europe) and other major book retailers.


  1. As I read the description of the parade, I joined the local people to see, hear and smell the scene as if I had joined in. But I recoiled in horror at the holiday on January 8th. My birthday celebrates eating horses! I guess the noble creatures are animals and I certainly wouldn't disrespect other cultures' customs. All in all, I enjoyed the trip, made especially endearing by the village idiot.

  2. If I fell in love with you,
    would you promise to be true?
    and help me understand
    I'v been in love before
    and I know that love is more
    than just holding hands.

  3. No worries, Francene - the reference is to food FOR horses, not food made from horses! Let me tidy up that phrase so no one else is horrified.

    Meta-Learner - I'm not sure why you posted the quotation from "In my Life", but that is one of my favorites of Lennon's songs, so thanks!