|my babies five years ago exploring on the caribbean side|
We've lived in Panama exactly five years. It's the longest we've lived anywhere. And we are settled--house, work, pets, school--the full catastrophe. I think this is it, at least until the girls finish school. I never imagined Panama in my life, and now my children are growing up here. Does life ever work out the way you expect it too?
Five years ago we arrived here hungry for some city life after a couple of years of small-town living in Costa Rica. My kids did dance classes, and art classes, and swimming lessons--it was a feast after a famine. Beside the classes, I have very fond memories of exploring the city with my girls (then 3 and 7) in the weeks before school started. Every day was an adventure, from the supermarket to the Smithsonian marine exhibit. This is probably why I love this city as much as I do-- along with beauty, we encountered kindness and good humour every where we went. Also, we spent every evening in a very pretty park, where the girls quickly made friends and played wild, convoluted games of tag that went on for hours. It was as easy a transition to a new country as could be imagined or desred.
The first blush is off my initial infatuation with Panama. I've seen the grubby and mean side of it. But I still love it. And there are lots of places I haven't seen, and this city still holds surprises. I am pretty sure I can be happy here for years to come.