Friday, March 18, 2011

USA / PANAMA - very Similar yet very Different!

We had only PT today, so it was a good day to finally get out. We haven't been out much other than to the grocery store and the clinic. We called Luis, our taxi driver friend from last year who speaks English and who is very knowledgeable about Panama. We wanted him to take us to Old Panama - that's a different area than Casco Viejo (which means "old city"). This Old Panama is where the city was before Henry Morgan, the English pirate, came in and burned everything in 1671 - the ruins are still there along with a market where you can buy hand-crafted Panamanian items made by the Kuna indians.

While we were driving through the city going to the area, there were so many things that were just like the USA - $3 gas, Tanning Salons, those squiggly air-up figures trying to get your attention, ads on the streets using flashy women also trying to get your attention, 24 hour Supermarkets, and big, fancy malls.

Yet right along side those familiar sights were things indigenous to Panama - Red Devil buses fumigating while delivering, street-side fruit stands feeding passers-by and insects alike, motorcycles zipping up between cars where there was absolutely no room, 20-inch iguanas using the same sidewalk as you at the market, and Jack & Jean getting their picture made along side San Jose, the patron saint of the handcrafts (Jack will be carving trinkets and Jean stitching purses before they return home!)

You can pick out the pictures below that go with this story. Enjoy!

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