Dario gave me a call the other day and asked if I could help with some students he had in private classes.
The first group contained six students that work for Pesca Panama, which is a sport fishing company based out of the Pedregal Marina. This was an interesting group. Many, if not all, had had zero training in English before starting with Dario three months ago.
They had made a good bit of progress in such a short period of time. Obviously many of the clients for Pesca Panama are from outside Panama and being able to speak some English is very important.
I learned a fair amount about Pesca Panama in these sessions. Pesca Panama has about 5 boats and one sleeping barge that goes out on these 5 day fishing tours. Each of the boats have a captain and a mate and then 3 to four fishing guests. I asked about the price and was told it was $3,000 per person. I don’t know if that includes the time in Panama City or not.
From Pedregal, they fish their way to Coiba Island and back to David. I did a google search and located the Pesca Panama website, if you want to learn more.
On the website, there is a good YouTube Video about the company showing boats, barge, and fishing. The only thing I noticed about the video was that it is out of date because it talks about taking Aero Perlas from Panama City to David and it is no longer in business in Panama. Other than that, the video is probably pretty reflective of what a client would experience.
I always enjoy sessions like this because I get to meet more actual Panamanians. The Pesca Panama students were different than other classes I have helped Dario with because they were not in school and were learning English to support their work.
The groups had a list of questions to ask which helped to guide the sessions. However, each group got off into other areas, which made it fun for me. In this photo, the fellow who was second from the right said his favorite sport was boxing and he had boxed. However, a couple years ago he had developed high blood pressure and when he was checked into the hospital, he was advised to start a more healthy regimen. He had cut out all fast food, all beer, all soft drinks and began to eat a more reasonable portion of food. He dropped his weight from 290 down to 195 and felt great.
The fellow on the right also had an interesting story. If I remember right, he was the one with 22 brothers and 7 sisters. Now that is what I call a large family.
In the next group, the fellow that was second from the right was one of the captains. The one in the red shirt to his right was the bartender on the barge. Each had their own story and each did a good job communicating, when you take into consideration that they only had a couple months with Dario.
The last group was closer to the types of students I usually find in Dario’s classes. It was interesting talking to the lady in the center of the photo. She is a nurse at the Obaldia Children’s Hospital. I asked her about her work and learned that she works shift work. The hospital rotates the nurses through three eight hour shifts lasting about a week each. She does get two days off a week and one weekend off a month. She said she usually got around 5 hours sleep a day. In her spare time, she studies, watches TV and sleeps as much as she can.
As I have said before, I get more out of the sessions, I think, than they do. So many interesting people and there is always some new story that I wouldn’t know about. This time I became familiar with Pesca Panama and I often have people write me and ask about fishing here. Since my fair skin keeps me away from the water, I normally don’t have an answer. Now I do.