When I last posted on our lives in Panama we had just moved into our apartment, I had yet to finish my masters, and the holiday season wasn’t even on the calendar yet. Since my last post I have made three trips back to the United States in order to wrap up my degree and visit friends  and family for the holidays. A month back and I’m starting to feel like we are really settling into our lives here.  When I scan through photos to post our camera is almost entirely comprised of photos of the meals I’ve cooked up (choices can be limited here which has meant me venturing into bread making) and the malls.  While I wish to believe the remainder of our time has been spent doing more interesting things, I would be lying.

I'm not sure we can go back from homemade pizza.

We have spent nearly six months working on opening bank accounts and getting mail to a country without a postal service and watching the Daily Show. Panama runs slowly and on an insurmountable number of staples. If you watch early Law and Order episodes, I mean like Lennie and Mike Logan early, that’s basically what Panama looks like when you go around. New York circa 1995. There is construction everywhere; it is like the rescission never even happened here. However, that also means you book your flight with a travel agent, you never send anything electronically, and they require original copies of everything stapled to a notarized copy of your passport signed by the president of HSBC bank.

This has been the most frustrating part of our experience, learning how to operate like we aren’t part of the Millennial Generation just off the plane with our digital genius phones wanting everything in a matter of moments – including a bank account. I have come to realize more and more since moving to Panama how much I took for granted the luxury of living in the United States as a privileged  white girl. Don’t get me wrong; VIP movies with lounge chairs and waitress service is awesome. So is the weather when its not the rainy season (which we have finally pulled out of, this means its a sunny 95 everyday with a breeze off the jungle) and the cheap cost of living. But I still want the convenience of sidewalks, decent roads, and educational standards.  You wouldn’t think that educational standards would be something an unmarried childless woman would be concerned about but when you start dealing on a daily basis with a population with an average education level of 7th grade it changes your perspective.

I was all in a hot tizzy before I left the United States about the state of our union but now that I am faced daily with the challenges of a developing country, you can’t imagine how worked up I get now.  I’m a white girl who can’t just go pick up her hummus from the grocery store.

Here is some photos and video of life in Panama

Click below to check out the video!

The walk to the Meat House. This is one of the few sidewalks in Panama City.

The RAIN! Couldn’t be happier that we are out of the rainy season. You kinda get trapped when it starts to rain like this.

Normal to see people exiting and entering the bus from the back. HEY OH!

The nearest grocery store. Most times they only carry turkey bacon. Life is tough.

P.S. We can’t stop watching Battle Star Galactica. Somehow we both missed the boat on that one. I recommend watching it if you haven’t already. HOLY CRAP ITS AWESOME.

P.S.S. We should know by the end of February if the Department of Justice is going to bother paying US players back. End of the month deadlines keep being promised and then they slip by with slivers of information being sent out. We are also hoping that a Congressional bill is passed in the United States before the end of this session. It wouldn’t be the best option if States handled online poker regulation themselves. Having States handle online poker within their boarders themselves means it wouldn’t be as lucrative for everyone and while I was born in Iowa I’m not up for moving there.