After a long and hard night of sleeping in airports and on planes, we finally made it to Panama! We flew from Salt Lake to Los Angeles at about 8:50pm, had a 3 hour layover, and then left for Houston at about 1:00am. When we got there a few hours later, we had 3 1/2 hour layover, and then we finally boarded the plan to Panama at 9am. Arriving here at 2pm, we were exhausted, but excited.
My first impressions after leaving the airplane was the heat. It was 92 degrees today in Panama City with 50% humidity, so it was very different from the cold Salt Lake weather I was used to. I’m still tired, only a little hot (it’s 72 degrees now), but I absolutely love the humidity! When I breathe, I feel like I’m really filling my lungs with healthy air!
From the airport, we boarded a newer Toyota pickup truck that took us to our hotel in the town of Balboa, a suburb of Panama city. We wound through beautiful green countryside, across bridges, through skyscrapers and towns with people shopping at local fruit markets, and ended up at a cute little Bed and Breakfast, The Balboa inn. The driver was very friendly, and we talked a lot about fun places to see and things to do in Panama City. He didn’t speak English, and though I understood about 70% of what he said, I was really glad Jen was sitting in the front seat handling the communication, as well as translating for me (isn’t she sweet?).
Jen’s back has been hurting her a lot the past couple days, so much so that it hurts her to walk more than a few minutes, so we’ve been trying to take it easy. I’ve also come down with some sort of cold (started a few days ago) where I am losing my voice and have a mild sore throat, so it’s uncomfortable for me to talk.
Even so, hunger and excitement got the best of our tiredness (and the girls pleas that we stop resting and starting doing something fun). So we took a walk around our hotel grounds, which are filled with tropical foliage. We also took a walk to a nearby restaurant and had some gyros and pizza (not very Panamanian, I know…). They also had a playground kind of like McDonald’s, so the girls played for a while, and then we had some pastries and cookies for dessert, and walked back.
The walk through the neighborhood was lovely. The air is filled with the scent of fresh flowers (except when an occasional car drives by), and there are so many interesting bird sounds that from listening only, it seems like we’re in the middle of the rainforest – even though we’re in the city.
At any rate, it’s about 7:30pm now, the girls are in beds, and Jen is sound asleep – didn’t even have the energy to get ready for bed. I’m totally exhausted myself, but had to write some thoughts so I wouldn’t forget this day in its freshness. The wireless Internet connection doesn’t reach clear to my room, so I need to come out to the common area (which has beautiful murals painted on the walls) to use the Internet, but that’s probably good because it keeps my time on-line short.
Just one more thing – on the first plane ride, I spent almost the entire time thinking about a particular client who has been especially demanding, and was worrying that they might pick up their demands again while I’m on my trip (which it looks like they may). After expending so much energy in worry, I made the decision that for the next six weeks, I’m going to try to limit thinking about work to the hours to which I’ve delegated work. If a work-related thought enters my mind during family time, I will push it out and immediately focus back on whatever I’m doing at the time. I’m hoping this won’t be too difficult. I’ll keep you posted.
Brandon signing out. I’ll get you some pictures later.