Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Random Observations . . .

A big, BEAUTIFUL flower in our neighbor's yard
- It’s a pain in the rear to find a place you want to go here.  There are no “addresses”.  Houses and buildings are not numbered.  Streets have names, but rarely have street signs.  Even when you ask for directions, you get, “Do you know where the bank is?  How about Big Daddy’s Grill?”  They tell you, "Go this way, and this way, and down this street, and it's right there."  And then it rarely is.  Or it's poorly marked.  Or it's not open.  Pain in the rear.

- Even if you think you know where you're going, it's difficult to get around.  The roads are two-lane, and people are walking everywhere in town with little regard for oncoming traffic.  Vehicles just stop anywhere . . . one way streets are not labeled . . . it’s tough to find a place to park, and when you do, you’re very likely tilted at a 45-degree angle.  And outside of town, some of the roads are in pretty decent shape, but others are just horrendous.  Really.  Horrendous. Although we're told they're going to be fixed . . .

- There are taxis everywhere, and they’re apparently very cheap.  The woman we ate lunch with said her daughter takes a taxi home from town for $1.50.  I anticipate using taxi service A LOT if we live here. 

- It really does a number on your brain after a while when nobody speaks your language. 

- My hair is curly in the humidity.  I don't know when my hair got so naturally curly.

- Stray dogs roam all over the place here.  And even dogs with owners run around everywhere.

Eating at Pio Pio -- a Panamanian KFC wannabe
- We are much more dependent on fast food than we realized.  For lunch, the girls and I so wanted to just grab a bit of something and eat at the casita.  No place to grab and take anything.  Many, many restaurants – all sit-down.  We did try a Panamanian fast food place called Pio Pio in David, 30 minutes away – not too bad.  And last night, we finally found a "fast-food" place in kind of a shack downtown here in Boquete -- "Milqueburger", it was called.  But it opens at 4pm and closes when they run out of food.  We were warned to not plan on eating there after 5.  But it had tasty burgers and fried chicken.

- Our dependency on cell phones -- that we're quite aware of.  We have no cell phone service in Panama, and it’s amazing how often that has been a source of stress for us. 

- At the movie theater in David, most movies have Spanish subtitles.  But “children’s” movies (Ice Age 4, Madagascar 3, etc.) are dubbed – I guess because they don’t count on kids being able to read the subtitles. 

- It rains every afternoon here.  Such is life during the rainy season.  But the mornings are gorgeous, and the rain has usually stopped by evening.

- As the week has gone on, I've slept better and better.  Last night, I think I slept for 7 or 8 hours and I don't remember waking up that much.

- We still don't know if this is the place for us.  Our youngest definitely wants to live in Panama.  Our oldest is determined she will NOT live in Panama.  Hubby and I are still up in the air.

I've found myself an interesting psychological study while we've been here.  :)  On one hand, I've been amazed at how easy-going and peaceful I've been about things.  As I've noted before, I'm not a spontaneous, go-with-the-flow kind of person.  I don't like the feeling of things being out of my control, and I don't feel in control of much here.  But I don't have that constant underlying feeling of panic that I've had at other times in my life.  A sign of spiritual growth?  Maybe.

On the other hand, I do have my moments.  I fought mild panic yesterday when hubby was much later than we expected getting back from a meeting, and I had no idea how to get a hold of him or how to find someone who could help me find him.  And I cried for a moment after one daughter voiced yet another complaint of a series I'd heard from her that morning. 

It will feel good to be home.  But I can see the possibility of this being home someday, if the Lord leads us here.


Dwight said...

Kieth and Gwen, Thanks for the updates. Sounds like the Lord is either preparing you for something or showing you something you have been missing, peace, reliance on Him, Faith? Please keep the commentaries and pictures coming. My question is "Does the humidity affect the dogs fur? Is it curly too? :-)

Coram Deo said...

Yep...grew up just like you describe it...not just a Panamenian way of life but Latin American in general...Of course, I rather prefer you move close to the Northeast but that is just our family taking :)- Love Eileen

Vianelli and Eastin said...

I think we know which daughter it is... ;)