09 April 2012

Making Connections

Our trip is over but as you can see our experiences and the people we meet will stay with us for a very long time.  The most important part of my travels are the human connections that I'm able to make.  Nothing satisfies me more than meeting new people from different cultures and different perspectives.  Staying in a hotel separated from local people has never interested me much.  Unlimited Margaritas and cruise ship tourist traps don't excite me at all.

My way of traveling is not for everyone.  Cold showers, crowded bus rides, mystery meals, and late night Salsa parties are too much for people who seek relaxation, repetition, and routine.  To me all the aspects that some may consider undesirable are worth the many many lessons I learn from actually making connections with the people I meet in my travels.

Here are some of the many people who touched me, and the boys, along the way:

José & Conchita, our host parents.

 Their daughter Anahi was also there, seen in the background.  She was very ill and on bed rest almost my whole stay there.  My few encounters with her were lovely and I hope she gets well soon. ♥

My Bermudan housemates Jaeden and Sakima

♥ The kids at Casa Esperanza ♥
Melody, our tour guide.  I know if we lived in the same city that we would be great friends, but since we don't I know we will be great FaceBook Friends.


Our experience in Panamá was arranged by Ileri Spanish School.  Ileri arranged transportation to and from the airport, our home stays (which included breakfast and dinner), our Spanish classes, some of our tours, and our volunteer hours at Casa Esperanza.  Basically they made sure we were well taken care of. 

I even want to shout-out our host dogs, Chiqui and Dobi.  Besides secretly peeing and #2-ing on my suitcases, when I wasn't looking, they were fun and kept us on our toes.  In my mind these tough little guys were making sure mice and other tropical creatures didn't get comfortable in our temporary living space.

Our trip has come to an end, we are back home with AlphaPoppa and FoxyMama.  We are very grateful and forever changed by our time in Panamá.  We are looking for our next opportunity to travel abroad.  I will look at where to go and start my saving strategy this week.  I'll let you know where we plan to go, and why, as soon as we make a decision. 

Thank you for joining us in Panamá, we hope you enjoyed our adventures and I hope you are inspired to take an adventure of your own.  Stay tuned because I feel I owe you an explanation of how I became a travel-addict and how I feel in love with culture and language.  Now that is a story worth hearing...

1 comment:

  1. I love hearing about your travels with your kids! We are saving money for a trip in 2014 with Ahanu. Most of the trip will probably be just me and Ahanu, though. We are thinking about Europe and the UK. We know people in many countries there and we have been studying French and Spanish in preparation. I took French and Spanish in school, but Ahanu is just starting to learn. We may also pop over to Isreal to visit the Baha'i Holy places.

    If you feel like going to Europe in a couple years, perhaps you would like to join us on some part of our trip. :D

    I have thought about other places as well, including Panama. My half-brother's mother and step-dad retired there a few years back, but it would also be cool to stay with a local family like you did.

    I have started (but haven't worked on recently) a blog to capture our ideas about where to go and how we are preparing and ultimately document our travels. http://www.taliasafa.com/ahanu-fund/ Check it out. I have more thought to add, but just haven't sat down to write, recently.