Panama People

I have to say that the best surprise for me after moving to Panama is the people. I was allured at first by the beauty and the freedom Panama had to offer. Beaches, wildlife, weather, and tranquility were the obvious, but what I did not expect was the beauty and kindness of true neighbors. I have been given more than I can return. People who give and share abundantly out of their want and need. People who exemplify the parable of the widows mite. Neighbors who will walk a mile or more to give me fresh changa, or a parakeet, or a potted tree or flower bush they have grown from a stem. They stop by and visit. Just to visit. Wow! What a change. I have about 40 neighbors along a three mile stretch of country road and I know all of them by name. The rest of Agua Buena I think I know half that way. Quite a difference from the U.S. where I knew a couple of neighbors names.
  They are gracious, self sufficient and generous. Most have a dirt floor in their homes and very little possessions as the way of the world, but what they do have is heart and love for their fellow man. They stop by and trim my trees, or teach me about a plant I have, or bring their music to my patio and share in friendship. They invite our family to community gatherings like matanzas and juntas, appoint us as honorary godparents to the local church for Christmas, (and I am not catholic) and involve us in their lives as a big Greek family would I suppose. Yes I think overall, Panama is an easy sell, and a welcome change for me and my family without these things. But what will keep me here is the people. They love  at a level that took me back at first. Now I will join them and try to align my life with theirs as the charitable people Christ wanted as followers. They live the law and don’t even know it, and that has left an impression in my heart that will endure.

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