Monday, July 6, 2009

one week!

So I've been here for a week now and I'm having a blast (and learning too :)! Lots of things to talk about...

On Thursday I visited the Panama Canal museum at Miraflores Locks. We watched a ship move through the locks as they raised and lowered the water. It was pretty slow and not too exciting... the museum was interesting though. I suppose it's good that I went to the Canal since I'm already in Panama and all, but I definitely would not recommend making a special trip to Panama for it. This picture pretty much sums up everything you would see:

On Friday, it was the last day of one of the students in my class (Joe), and his final presentation was "hosting" a cooking show and making a bunch of different kinds of smoothies. They were yummy!! I was his assistant:

Yesterday, Saturday, Loren and I went to the beach at Santa Clara, which was about a 2 hour bus ride away from Panama City on the InterAmerican highway. A round-trip ticket on a nice air-conditioned bus only cost $7.50! This beach isn't super touristy, so it wasn't crowded at all. This might have something to do with the bus dropping you off about 1K away from the beach, and there are no signs to tell you where you're going, so you just have to know somehow... but it was fun!!

I swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time!

I even ate seafood for lunch since we were right next to the ocean (and it was delicious!):

We caught a bus back to Panama City out on the highway. There's not really an organized way of getting tickets or finding which bus to take. Basically you can just flag down any bus that's going the way you want and if there are open seats, you hop on, and then pay when you get off. This is what a bus stop looks like:

Time for a funny story -- We got back to Panama City around 7 and I went home for dinner. Berta was at mass, and she had told me that my food would be in the fridge, so I rummaged around and found a bowl covered with foil that seemed like it was probably my dinner. It was just plain shredded chicken, which seemed kinda strange because usually Bexi (the maid) makes something fancier than that, so I found another bowl with plantains, and I ate those too. Later, Berta got home from mass and asked me why I hadn't eaten my dinner. I told her I did, I ate the shredded chicken in the bowl. So Berta said, oh no, that was Chris' food!!! Who is Chris, you say? This is Chris:

Well, crap. How was I supposed to know that her incredibly spoiled dog eats shredded chicken?!? Apparently there was spaghetti in a different container for me... She laughed at me about it for the rest of the night, and all day today, and probably will for the next five weeks that I'm here. Yay.

Saturday night, Loren and I were supposed to meet up with my Spanish teacher, Olga to go to a concert. Long story short, we took a sketchy cab to a sketchy part of town, I was wearing super uncomfortable shoes, there was no concert, Olga didn't answer her cell, we took a nicer cab back to our neighborhood, and decided to go to a casino...where there was a karaoke competition!! (I didn't participate; the singers were all registered and super good.) Click HERE to watch this guy singing Michael Jackson!! He's pretty awesome!

This is Loren and me in the casino shaking off our "misadventure":

Today, Sunday, I went with Berta to a fundraiser "fair" for her church. They had music and a bunch of different food stands. I ate Spanish chicken paella and sangria, mmmm. And Berta told all her friends about how I ate dog food...I'm glad to be representing the States well in Panama :)
The fair:

I have a new house mate now! Her name is Marilyn, and she's from Arkansas. Her daughter is 22 and she's going to be studying here too - she's staying in a house just down the street. They're only going to be here for two weeks, but Marilyn already knows a lot.

You should check out this VIDEO Loren made of new President Martinelli's party last week.

I don't have a cell phone here, but I do have internet in my house, and I have skype! My name is courtney.e.moran, so skype me!! :-)

Hasta luego!!


Danielle said...


And also, they have SANGRIA at church functions in Panama?! I need to go to church there!

BabyOrthoNurse said...

HEY COURTNEY! I got here from your FB status! WOW! You ARE having some amazing adventure! *jealous* Do you mind if I follow your blog so I can read about your interesting life??! :)