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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    The Miss Takes on Panama

    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">We were going to visit Panama for 6 days. Iím thinking about living there next year for a while and wanted to see how I would feel about the place. We left out of DC and arrived in Miami. That trip was interesting. The Mess made a friend immediately on the plane, a young businessman who was sitting in the row with us. Iím telling the Miss that Mommy needs some sleep. I was up late the night before packing our luggage. I wake up to her fake puppy nuzzling my face. I look over and she and the man in our row are laughing. Mommy is none too pleased and tells the Miss to leave me be. I can see on the manís face that he feels bad that he probably encouraged the Miss. I fall back to sleep. I wake back up and the Miss is all excited. Sheís listened to the manís Ipod and has played on his computer. There was a tropical storm heading towards Miami. It bypassed the area quickly, but it threw off our time and we landed late. I wished the man well on his business and the Miss and I headed into Miami International Airport.</span></span>
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

  2. #2
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama

    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">In the airport I was playing Sudoko, my obsession, and a man walks up to me and is asking me about the game. He asks if Iím Panamanian and I reply no. He has such a funny look on his face. Then he asks me, well what are you? I laugh and tell him half Guyanese. We talk until the plane lifts off. Heís Panamian and is going back to visit family and friends. We talk of exchanging numbers after we land.

    We land. I catch up with the guy, but because he gets to go thru the Panamanian line. He gets thru customs much quicker and we never link up again. Itís a lot to be juggling passport, plane tickets, customs forms, and the Miss. To add to all that, everyone is speaking rapid fire Spanish to me. Now I speak some Spanish and can understand it way better than I can speak it, but this was a lot. I mean every person in the airport was just zooming away. Sometimes, I could understand the just of what was being said. Iíd hear a word here or there or I could just tell what they wanted me to do. Like-put the luggage on the conveyor belt. I set up our trip thru a tour company and Gamboa Tours would taking us around for the duration of our trip.</span></span>
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2004
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama



    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">Arriving at Tocumen International Airport. The mess is holding our travel itenerary.</span></span>

    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

  4. #4
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama

    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">We go outside and a nice looking young man is holding a sign for us. He gets the car and we take our first pic in Panama. Leaving out of the city, I feel that I am in the Caribbean. Mountains everywhere you look, elephant grass, and palm trees.



    Once we hit the city I know we are in Panama. In all the travel books it is described as little Miami. It was a lot. Iím talking Spanglish to Roger, but mostly English. We are taking video and Iím asking Roger twenty million questions. The Mess is all over the place, up and down in her seat, and sharing the snack that we brought along. Iím asking Roger about places for dinner. We exchange numbers in case I need a ride later. He drops us off at our hotel. He was a great driver and was very informative.



    Diablo Rojos-Red Devils. These are the bus system for now in Panama. They are old US school buses that are painted. I loved these buses and you will see them in various stages of completion in terms of the art on the outside. This system is supposed to be retired as Panama will institue a national bus system. Que Lastima!</span></span>
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama

    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">We arrive at the hotel and there goes that rapid fire Spanish again. I first start to talk in Spanish, but quickly just give it up. Iím tired. We go up to the room. The bellboy who takes us up to the room is really nice. Iím asking him in English where is a close good Panamanian restaurant. He suggests Manolo on the corner. He gives me directions in Spanish as his English isnít too good. I told him in Spanish-donít worry, my Spanish isnít too good. We smile. We look around the room, he gives the Miss her gift. The Spanish cartoon channel. We put down our bags and head out the door to the restaurant.

    We get to the restaurant and Iím not sure what to do. The Miss wants to eat outside. What Iíve learned to do over time is to observe what otherís do and then follow suit. Well nobody else is trying to be seated. I go inside and there goes that rapid fire Spanish again. I catch enough words to understand that they want to know where do we want to eat. I say outside. They understand that I donít speak Spanish and we go back outside. I pick up the menu and thank goodness I can remember the names of food. We order our dinner and sit outside and watch the runnings. There is a couple on the corner that looks like they are straight out of JA. Both have long locks piled on top of their head and their baby has baby locks. We eat our dinner. The miss has pizza and I have shrimp. The shrimps were OK, the pizza was great. I still had to use Spanish the entire dinner. I was feeling intimidated, but somehow and in someway we were able to figure it out and communicate. I translated for the Miss.

    After dinner I tell the Miss that we will just walk around and head back to the hotel. I had more things planned for us today, but we arrived in Panama about 2 hours late. Our second plane leaving Miami was also late b/c they were caught by the same storm that caught us. We walked down the street and there were vendors everywhere. Panama City is a big City. It has a huge skyline, banks as far as the eye can see(Later I found out 110 in the downtown area) and <span style="font-weight: bold">SHOPPING</span>. Please it was a lot.

    Me and the Miss hit a store. When I asked the Panamanian on the plane, what is the favorite activity in Panama, he replied shopping. He said the shopping was really cheap. He also suggested that we walk further away from the hotel and the shopping would be even cheaper. The Miss gets a pair of high heels. She loves prancing in those things. She attempts to wear them out of the store and I have to catch her before she hits the ground. I burst out laughing and she gives me the biggest cross look Iíve ever seen. I deserved it.

    We head down to Via EspaŮa It is so busy. There are people everywhere and the traffic is killer. We duck into some stores. Then I see people going up a walkway. I decide to just go up. It takes us over Via EspaŮa to the other side of the street. Iím also looking for a grocery store. The hotel that we are staying in has a kitchenette. I see a store that says Rey and it just feels as if it is a grocery store. It has that look on the outside. Sure enough we go in and get some provisions and head back for the night. I head to bed while the Miss plants herself in the living room to watch Spanish TV.</span></span>
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2003
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    different spot
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama

    I get to go to Panama today!
    &quot;When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
    V.Frank

  7. #7
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    Jul 2003
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    toes in the wata
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama


  8. #8
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama

    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">The next morning we have a half day tour which includes the Panama Canal, a tour of the City, and a visit to the craft market. We come downstairs to get our free brekkie and find out that it is basically a continental breakfast. The Mess can EAT and thatís not going to hold her. We leave out of the hotel and head up the street. Manolo is still open and I head there since we are in a hurry. The Mess didnít like her breakfast. I try to cajole, encourage, reason, and then threaten her into eating something. I predict what is going to happen later. If you donít eat now, youíll going to be complaining to me that you are hungry.


    We finish breakfast and head back to the hotel to meet up with our tour group. The van pulls up and a man comes out and asks if we speak Spanish. I reply no. We head into the van. I say good morning and get no response. Iím thinking, OK are we the only one on board that speak Spanish. Iím kinda in my head already getting negative thinking of the lack of a warm reception. Me and the mess head to the back seat. I really want to sit up front, but there isnít any room.

    Robert is our driver and is a wealth of information not only on the Canal and the US involvement in Panama, but also just the culture. After he gives us this indepth briefing on the Canal and the areas we are passing he asks does anyone have questions. I speak up and say no, but I loved all the info. There is a family up front. After we get out I talk to the mom and they are from the Turks and Caicos. The other couple was from England and became the Messí friends.

    We go to the Miraflor locks to look at the Canal.


    The canal was beautiful. We headed up to the upper deck and watched a ship pass through the Canal. There was a loud speaker set up where Spanish and English guides were explaining the process of how the ships passed through the Canal and was even explaining information about each individual ship . </span></span>
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama





    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">Breakfast at Manolo's-Love that Tea</span></span>
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

  10. #10
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    Re: The Miss Takes on Panama





    <span style="font-family: 'Comic Sans MS'"><span style="font-size: 11pt">The Miraflor Locks</span></span>
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

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