I get this all the time: “What’s it like to still be working when everyone around you is retired?” And honestly, it’s not that easy. After eight to 10 hours at my desk, I sometimes feel that I could be anywhere on the planet. And then I step outside and remember: Panama! As John loves to say, “LOOK where we are!”
Take last Tuesday, for instance. A day like any other, until it wasn’t. Up and at ’em about about 6:30 for a full day of work. Actually, it was a busier day than usual, with a lot of our clients starting to need materials for a big trade show coming up. And then, at 4:30, everything changed when our friend Andrea showed up. We had made plans to take the bus down the hill, towards David, to see some friends of ours who play in the band Me3.
We had originally planned to drive but this was not just any Tuesday, but Martes Gordo – Fat Tuesday, the biggest day of Carnival. We’d be going right through the town of Dolega, known for its huge Carnival celebration, and friends of ours had advised that there were several police checkpoints along the way.
So we bussed it. Our destination, the Waterfall Hostel, is on the northbound part of the Boquete highway at a point in which the road is split in both directions. The closest the bus would take us, going south, was to a connector road about a half-mile across to the northbound side. Not a problem for these intrepid wanderers! We ended up having a lovely walk along a beautiful country road in the late afternoon sun and the wind, which has been absolutely crazy lately, died down just for us.
The Waterfall Hostel is a nice little venture owned by an expat named Peter and situated right on a very picturesque river and waterfall. The place offers inexpensive accommodations as well as swimming pools and a restaurant/bar, and it turns out that it’s very popular with Panamanian families – especially on Martes Gordo. By the time we got there, late in the afternoon, Me3 was cranking up the classic R&B tunes. It was great to see our friend Kris Cunningham, a fellow blogger whose husband Joel plays in the band along with another friend of ours, Gary Whiting.
Sitting there in the waning light, enjoying the company of our friends and watching some adorable Panamanian kids who were mesmerized by the band’s music, I got an important reminder: although my life might seem pretty ordinary during a typical weekday, there’s nothing ordinary about our lives in Panama. We are so blessed to live in this amazing place, surrounded by staggering natural beauty and some of the most warm and genuine people we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. LOOK WHERE WE ARE!