Sometimes when you’re on this journey you have doubts. Yeah, the kids (and adults) get to experience lots of new things, learn a new language, meet new people, travel to new places, etc. But then you wonder about things they are missing out on at home. If we were in Arizona Haley would probably be in the robotics club. Zoe would probably be doing a pretty good job at tumbling on her path to cheerleading. They’d probably be taking some kind of music lessons and go on interesting field trips with their classmates. That stuff isn’t happening here.
But then something does happen here that makes you go “Oh, that’s why we do this”. For us it wasn’t something we did but something we watched.
Our good friends, Robert and Candace (and their 3 kids), are on a similar journey, although they’re choosing a full time stay here in Panama. Their daughter Ashley is Zoe’s BFF. We see Ashley at our house for dinner as much as we see Zoe. So when Zoe started talking about Ashley singing at a local restaurant called Smiley’s, we were excited. Smiley’s is owned by an expat, John, and his Panamanian wife. It’s the “Cheers” of Pedasi.
Back in Texas, Ashley had singing lessons, and for good reason. That girl’s got some pipes. But here in the small town of Pedasi we don’t have those kinds of opportunities. There’s no vocal coach, music school or even music class at public school. But that doesn’t mean she can’t get in some great experience. A few weeks ago John saw a video of Ashley singing. He liked what he saw and he invited her to sing last Friday, which is their usual night when the local gringo band plays live music.
I think Ashley’s debut in Panama was great for business because Smiley’s was packed! We cheered her on and she did an amazing job. You can see the video link below. After it was done I heard John and Candace talking about when Ashley would begin working on her next 4 songs, and how next time, she could sing them along with the live band.
So although we might be in this small town at the end of the road, our kids still get to pursue their individual interests. Singing live with a band at a restaurant in front of of strangers, friends and family? Probably not happening at age 8 in Texas. So add that to the every-growing list of “Why We Do It.”
If you’re pressed for time, you gotta at least see her “These Boots Were Made for Walking” song. It’s at the 8 min 29 sec mark.