Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bienvenidos a Panama!

When we arrived in Panama it was exactly what I thought it’d be like: some large buildings with a lot of family owned shops and rundown apartment buildings. When we first got to the City of Knowledge it really was like its own little town. There was a gym, pool, and fields for almost every sport. It really was a nice area with all the modern appliances I’m used to. Panama City is almost like towns in America with small convenience stores and plenty of beautiful churches. Each of these churches has its own unique history. It makes you wonder how anyone chooses which one to attend. Most of the city is familiar except everything is in Spanish. I know everyone speaks Spanish here but it was strange that almost everything has Spanish on it. I was glad that I’m able to understand most of it. It’s really frustrating though when you don’t know every word and can’t completely communicate. After a day we left for Chiriquí, about an eight hour bus ride away. We stopped by a local outdoor cafeteria and had some really good food, even though I’m not really sure exactly what I ate. While I’m here I’m really trying to eat as much of the local food as I can because you can get McDonald’s anytime. The compound where we’re staying at is run by a Jesuit priest. The scenery is gorgeous and everything is so colorful. I met two little boys last night, Enrique and Daniel, and Kayla showed them a picture of one of the priest’s four dogs. I asked them if they wanted a dog and Enrique, who is four, said “Yes, but we’re not rich so we can’t have one”. It was so great to see their reactions to things they haven’t seen before. The compound is better than I expected because I didn’t think there would be running water. We can at least take showers everyday even if the water is freezing. There’s even a filtration system here. I think the best thing about this country is how peaceful it is and how people go along on their own time.

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