Well! The beginning of the school year craziness is starting to die down a bit, so it’s finally time for another update from our ever intrepid adventurers.
What have we learned upon settling into our Latin American life? Let’s make a list!
1. The traffic is, indeed, as crazy as everyone says. But the locals make the most of it by bringing the mall to you as you contemplate the passage of time. I’ve been offered the standard cellophane-wraped fried products, sugary beverages, and cheap plastic toys, but also unlabeled plastic water bottles full of a grey-green liquid and entire pizzas in their boxes ready for a feast. But my favorite traffic busker so far was this guy, performing on our way to school:
2. Living the gated community life has been serene, though not very social. We certainly enjoy being only a ten-minute drive to school, the facilities are pretty shmancy (we live directly across from the pool!), and the house itself is increasingly comfortable as we unpack our shipment and buy necessary items like bookshelves. But we may be the only English speakers in the joint, and our Spanish and Mandarin are yet not up to the task of interacting much with our neighbors.
Setting everything up is an ongoing process, but it’s happening. We recently got wifi after quite a bit of effort, and our shipment arrived soon after. We can finally sleep well now that we are sure our bread machine is in its rightful home.
3. The jungle continues to be our favorite outing - although we haven't yet explored Panama's beaches!
4. The Little Lady swings a decent bat when candy is on the line.
5. Teaching is fun! I guess I already knew that, but it’s nice to reaffirm it. The kids are impressively
eager to learn and my coworkers are congenial (at least to my face) and fun to work with. We're getting stuff done and planning like there is a tomorrow.
It also helps that this is my view from outside my classroom door.
6. Street food is also fun...
...especially when it involves raw fish cured in citrus juice.
7. Our kids were cute on the first day of school...
And continue to be cute three weeks later. (It's totally worth your eleven seconds.)
8. We should eat outside more.
Here's to more dining al fresco!