Rita Luisa did not want to leave Cuba and missed her father terribly. Her mother and she stayed at the home of friends in Panama City, pleasant enough for an interim visit. But the time came for Consuelo, her mother, to go to Santiago de Veraguas to start teaching at the college. Rita Luisa was conveniently sent to a local Catholic Boarding School, based on the idea that Consuelo would visit her on her weekends off.
The place was a hell hole and the girls made fun of everything about her. She was housed in a long dormitory with rows and rows of small cots for each girl in the boarding school. She suffered from trauma and constantly wet the bed and longed for her father and mother. Everything about her repelled the Panamanian girls including her snotty nose, bed wetting and skinny frame. Her cries for help became so pronounced that the nuns contacted Consuelo and told her she must take the child out of school. The drive to Santiago de Veraguas was an eight hour journey from coastal Panama City, and the vehicle used to go up to the mountain town was a car named El Chivito, otherwise described as a large station wagon. She was so happy to be near her beautiful mother with her silky white skin and perfumed body that she cried all the way up to the top of the mountain and the little village she was to call home for the next two years.