Gringo

The language barrier is always a challenge. It can be isolating to be in a place where you understand about 1/10 of what is being said around you. But it an odd way it also makes you a public sight. We are gringos. We stick out. There are other gringos so we aren't alone, but…

If only they had the bruschetta mix …

It's not Trader Joe's, but Foodie¬†specialty produce market makes me think of one of my favorite stores. One opened near Dean's work. It was nice to peruse fresh fruits and vegetables, seasonings without additives and to just explore some culinary options I haven't found elsewhere. Guess who's gonna get grocery lists to bring home from…

Cruising through Carnival

Carnival is happening in the country of Panama, but the city of Panama is EMPTY. The place clears out. Traffic Friday and Saturday morning was ugly, but now you can cruise the city with ease. We were a little worried when we saw maps showing street closures that last from Friday morning through Wednesday... We…

Earthquake!

We are from California. Earthquakes are nothing new to us. But ... last night at 11:45 p.m. when Panama was hit with a couple of quick but decent-sized jolts, it felt a little new. Our concrete bunker of a house jumped significantly. This is NOT a California quake-code structure that sways with the movement of…

Transit ticket

I got my first ticket today. I'm not even sure how it happened. I was sound asleep when Dean got a call from frantic friends this morning. They were headed to the airport and had been caught in a checkpoint. They don't have driver's licenses and the husband who was actually driving didn't have his…

Almost normal

Jack and I were driving home yesterday, chatting away in the car. I was driving and in Jack's eyes I'm a senior citizen driver because I actually almost stop at stop signs (Alto) and wait for a car-sized opening before merging into traffic. All things that 18-year-olds in Panama think are signs of personal deterioration…

Waiting for our ship to come in …

It was a bit of a wait, but worth it. The ships just kept coming. Dean and I visited the Miraflores Locks on Sunday. The idea was a quick trip, scope it out, be prepared for visitors. (We have our first guests coming mid-March, and we are very excited.) ¬†Friends had visited the locks and…