It’s been pretty quiet on the Panama Pause lately but things are about to get interesting! Here are a few updates in no particular order…
Haley has taken a keen interest in riding the Smiths’ horses. We are really happy to see her so interested in something outside 4 walls and a computer. She likes to go as often as she can but returns with a sore bum that we hear about for the majority of the following three days. I have asked her to write a Panama Pause post about the horses so we’ll see when that might transpire.
I went to church today. There is a Christian church in town that many expats go to. The pastor is Panamanian and delivers the sermon in Spanish and his wife is from Georgia and translates into English. We sing in Spanish. Today one of my expat friends sang Amazing Grace in Spanish and it was lovely!!! It gave me chills! So that was a really nice morning and gave me a little taste of home, while at the same time being different. I look forward to going again and maybe even checking out the weekly bible study.
Our sleepy little town is taking on a new vibe now. Carnival (think Mardi Gras) starts this Friday and the outdoor disco down the street (about 200 feet from our front door) is already hopping each night. They were partying FULL BLAST until about 3am last night but thankfully our concrete bunker of a house coupled with the a/c noise, drowns out the music and partying enough to sleep even though they are so close.
Some background… there are three main towns in Panama where everyone in the country travels to if they want to celebrate Carnival in style. One of them is our little town of Pedasi. The #1 spot (the town that started it all… think New Orleans) is Las Tablas which is 30 minutes up the road from Pedasi. The other main town for Carnival is Penonome, which is further north, closer to Panama City. So restaurants are gearing up, people are stocking up on groceries and beer, people are renting out every available room in the town, cars are about to be parked on every square piece of land they can find and it’s about to just get crazy, in general. To put it in perspective, Panama has a population of 3.5 million people and if any of them want to celebrate Carnival, they pretty much go to one of those 3 towns. Everyone says that Panama City empties during Carnival, so it’s a great time to go to the city. The tales about Carnival range from town-wide water fights involving huge water trucks to people sleeping on the streets, traffic barricaded for days and parties that last all night and into the next day. We really have no idea what to expect but we have loaded up on groceries. We plan to be here for half of Carnival. We are leaving town next Monday to go to the city to pick up Aunt Kim (Daniel’s sister). So we’ll see how easy or difficult it will be to go through Las Tablas since we have to go through it to get to Panama City and back. We thought that maybe after 3 days of Carnival we would be ready to escape to the relatively-empty city. So stay tuned for the updates on how it all plays out.
Dan has found someone to wash his car and this makes him very happy. Lucy is here again this weekend attempting Krispy Kreme donuts for the second time and this also makes him (and the girls… and yes, even me) very happy. According to him, this weekend has been a success. The donuts are to die for. A bit different than Krispy Kreme, but in his opinion, better than KK.
Knock on wood, we’ve had NO power outages for almost a week so we are ALL happy about that. Oh, and this relaxed lifestyle has allowed me some time to resume my Breaking Bad marathon. That’s some good TV, fer’ sure.
Other than all that, life has continued on as normal in Panama-land: homeschool progresses at a sometimes-good sometimes-bad pace, Lucy cooks for us 4 nights a week (ALWAYS good) and we love love love our ever-expanding circle of expat and Panamanian friends.
And if anyone is thinking of checking out this place in person, we hear airline tickets from the US are at a low point now in the $400+ range. Come visit and we’ll get Lucy and the donuts to welcome you!