After seeing the response and concerns raised by my “A Word of Caution” post, maybe I should balance it with the things I like about Panama. Normally, good bars on the windows (a way of life in Latin America), good friends, and an inside dog and a little common sense will take care of the thefts and other problems.
So what do I like.
I like all of the friends I have here.
I like it that the secretary of my church would think of me when a humming bird built her nest and laid an egg and wanted me to take photos.
I like the fact that a Colombian friend would call at 1AM in the morning, following an earthquake to see if I was all right.
I like the fact that no matter where I am people pass, speak and smile.
I like the hint of a smile I get with my poor Spanish, but they know I try.
I like the fact that I don’t fight Dallas traffic jams, even though David is growing and there is now more traffic. I can still get to anywhere I want in David in no more than 15 minutes.
I like that a doctor will spend up to an hour talking to make sure I understand something and that the price for an office visit can be a low as $5.
I like that my dentist is as good as my specialist in the US and has a personality that is not an ice cube and cares about patients.
I like that I can go for a walk in the morning and be greeted by friendly neighbors on their morning walk.
I like that I can go out to eat for as little as $1.75 and get a good plate lunch as I did yesterday.
I like that I see flocks of parrots flying by and hear them chattering in the mornings.
I like that I can drive for 30 minutes and be up in the mountains or 30-50 minutes and be at a beach looking at the ocean.
I like that following a rain I may see some of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen.
I like that at the end of a month, I still have some money in the bank.
I like that I can attend an English class with Dario and help dispel concepts about gringos and help the youth of Chiriquí.
I like learning new things and that everyday still feels like I am on a vacation in a foreign land.
I like helping people like Tom McCormack and Jorge Cedeño who are helping the people of Panama.
I kind of find that life is what you make it. While I am always cautious, I try to live each day and enjoy it. I spend more time thinking about living each day to its fullest and not dreading the end of my days.
Luckily, I have learned that carrying a camera helps me to notice things that in the past would have completely slipped by my eyes.
For me, with all of its warts, ticks and fleas, I still love Panama and would not move. Well, not unless I won a 5 million dollar lottery.