Adventists, Gelato and Big Ships

Trip Start Jun 14, 2005
Trip End May 12, 2006

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Flag of Panama  ,
Sunday, January 8, 2006

Well we finally arrived at our last destination together, the bustling Panama City. After getting a ride from a Police officer who said we were walking through the dangerous part of town Jules and I checked in to our hotel and went exploring. We headed off to the old part of town and explored the presidentīs palace, the old theater and of course the old bar/hangout of Americaīs good old buddy Noriega (if you donīt know his story it follows a typical American storyline... we put him in power and after he abused it to become a dictator we invaded to take him out). After that we headed down to the causeway so we good get some gelato and watch the ships as they entered the canal. Well, it just so happened that we passed an Adventist church on the way to causeway and on the way back stopped to see what time the service was the next day. At 9 P.M. sharp on Saturday we entered in our worn traveling clothes (me in hiking boots) and were warmly welcomed and enjoyed a bilingual church service (and for the first time I could understand both languages). With the church service ended we were warmly invited to spend the afternoon (lunch included) at a membersīs house (Cyril Groose) who happened to be from Riverside, CA and just moved down there to start a business. An hour later we were happily shocked to find ourselves in the elevator of a plush downtown skyrise on our way to lunch. We enjoyed a lovely lunch with him talking with his sister and parents (who were there visiting) and it turns out we even have a lot of friends in common (like Faye Chilson, for those of you who know her). How crazy is that, meeting a neighbor thousands of miles away from your home!

The next morning was Jules and my last one for 5 months (how sad), but we had one last adventure and visited the Miraflores Locks of the famous Panama Canal, complete with a live-action viewing of a ship passing through. We spent some time in the museum there as well and man that canal is pretty impressive! There is a team of highly trained professionals that along with trains on the side guide a ship through this passage taking anywear from 8-10 hours. This team is so specialized I guess that that Panama Canal is the only place in the entire world where U.S. Navy Commanders give up their control of thier boat to somebody else.

From there we hightaled it to the airport to catch our flights and once again (like in Sacramento) I had to say goodbye to my sweetheart from another couple months. From here I head Quito, Eduador for a week of studying and then 5 months of traveling through South America and Jules heads back to Honduras for another 5 months of teaching English. Until then...
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Kim Chapman on

Hi there, I read your blog and am trying to get more info on Panama since I have considered moving there. I would like to know more about the adventist churches there like how many and are they only in the cities. Also, I would need some type of job or business and wondering if you have any suggestions. I have considered contacting an Adventist church member such as Cyril (sp?) who has started a business there that may be able to assist me with this or hire me til I can get on my feet. My email is

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