2019 Winter December 24 Tuesday

 79 Degrees this morning, 89% humidity

Yesterday was a beautiful day, 79 degrees with a high of around 87.  A brief rain at noon, which cooled things off.  Our Guide advised us this is the “dry” season and it normally doesn’t rain that much here.  The humidity didn’t seem near as muggy or maybe we are getting used to it.

We realize how international the world is  when we are advised “we seem to have   an American accent”!  This is truly an international city.  Our guide today and tomorrow was originally from the UK and somehow ended up in Panama in the 90’s.  

Saw a lot of Panama City this morning, some of the administration buildings and churches and then walk through the “old town” area, which was an education and extremely interesting.  A lot of restoration work, one cafe dated back to 1650 and a church to around 1560.  (The cafe was operational.) 

The “old town” has very narrow streets and is an amazing diversity of small businesses and high end residential as well as lower income residential.  

Panama City is a very clean city, and they seem to work at keeping it that way.  

There are some extremely poor areas and our guides have made a point of showing us them, as well as the very modern parts of Panama.  

Our guide noted that some of the existence of very poor areas are a result of structural culture. 

 Now that I think of it, this is basically the same problem in the United States, where I pay a higher income tax rate than corporations and an administration attacks lower income people and the average citizen while shoveling tax dollars to corporations, donors and lobbyists and themselves.

Our guide helped me buy a “Panama” hat.  He took it as a personal goal when he heard I couldn’t find one big enough to wear.  (This one does fit.)  I learned (I hope) how to roll it for travel , etc.  Our guide actually helped me bargain down the price, or at least insured I didn’t get gouged.  

Strange that this will the last true day of our Panama City visit.  We have seen a lot and are going to see more today.  We have been lucky with our guides who have gone above and beyond. 

The people here have been extremely nice.  Most people speak English and the ones that don’t we try to make it work, since we are in their country and Spanish is the major language.  I wish I had thought of “Google Translate” before I came so I got better with it.

I probably should have worked on “Google Translate” rather than attempt to brush up on my Spanish. Some small businesses used it very effectively. 

We ate dinner tonight at a very local small cafe, were they spoke only Spanish.  I tried Google translate and it worked what little I was able to get it to work, but I thought of it too late.  Otherwise we communicated fine, just not by spoken language.  They were extremely nice people.

That’s it for now, Tuesday, December 24, 2019. 

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