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Our first year

We arrive 6:26:08

One year ago today we arrived in Panama to begin our new adventure and for the most part it's lived up to our expectations. In broad terms it's been both exciting and a challenge, with new customs and the language leading the excitement and challenge categories.

Some highlights:
  • We've made new friends, missed old ones.
  • Are amazed at the similarities between St. Croix and Panama, and how much easier our new life is because of our "island life" experience.
  • We've made the transition to both being retired and so far have survived.
  • The wonderful diversity of this country.
  • Dinning out - at affordable prices.
  • Shopping - remember we moved from a small island.
  • Going to the National Theater.
  • Talking to visitors in Casco Viejo.
  • Watching (and slowly becoming a part of) everyday life in our new neighborhood.
  • Jane's book exchange is a big hit.
  • And lastly, taxi drivers, ice cream and walking at night in Casco.

Folk dancers National Theater Concert

On the practical side:

  • Received our permanent visa, took us nine months - way too long.
  • Opened a local bank account in one day - unheard of.
  • Found "our place" in Panama
  • Still trying to get our crate shipped from St. Croix.
  • Survived without a car.
  • Can (unfortunately) vouch for the quality of the local health care system.
  • Progress on learning Spanish has been painfully slow.

What's not to like:
  • Not much - but trash, liter and noise are areas that Panama definitely needs to work on.
  • Poverty - which, sadly, affects too many Panamanians.

We obviously don't know what the next year will bring, but . . . it's almost certain to be exciting, challenging and fun. Hope you continue to tag along - or, better yet, visit us in Panama for your next adventure. Take care.

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