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…

More mail we didn’t get

Turns out not only do you not get your vehicle license renewal in the mail, you also don't get your insurance renewal in the mail. We purchased car insurance in July. In California, your insurance goes for a year (July to June in this case). We filled out the auto-renewal paperwork and figured we were…

Plugging along and in

Remember being the new kid at school? Or the newest hire in an established business or department? Have you gone to a party where everyone else has known each other for years? That’s a little bit like moving to a new country. You feel like a fish out of water and you are pretty sure…

Renewing our vehicle license

You don't realize how much you depend on a mail system until you don't have one. Sure, it's inconvenient not to get mail. Your family complains, birthday cards disappear into the void, bills are hand-delivered (they just show up tucked into the door), and it's difficult to send anything but Amazon gifts to family. But…

Starting the New Year off right

We left Atlanta with temperatures ranging from 8-30 degrees Fahrenheit and landed in summer in Panama -- 89 degrees with humidity around 70 percent. We landed, headed through immigration and customs (a breeze with our resident cards by the way! It's a post for another day, but I feel like we are treated better in…

My Spanish may not be great …

Just when I think I’m doing well with my Spanish, actually chatting with someone at the beauty salon, my conversation partner shows me her stomach and asks me a question... I don’t think we were having the same conversation.

Christmas in a Catholic country

By some estimates, up to 85 percent of Panama is Catholic. We live just a few minutes from the impressive Apostolic Nunciature in Clayton (state funded and a bit controversial here). World Youth Day is set for Panama in January of 2019. Every housing complex, government office, local mall and even parks have nativity displays.…

Bonus Mother’s Day

This year I had two Mother's Days. Yesterday, Dec. 8 was Mother's Day in Panama. Ads, commercials, special promotions, even extended hours at the mall the night before Mother's Day. AND it's a national holiday so everyone is off work so they can spend time with their mamas. Mothers deserve no less. Coffee and pastries…