Save the DRAMA for your MAMA!

Trip Start Aug 03, 2011
Trip End Mar 01, 2012

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got the hell out of dodge.

Flag of Panama  ,
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Panama. hot. hot. HOT. bones are a cookin and it feels good. easy entrance through customs and safe arrival to David (dave-EED). the bus terminal was everything i expected to see, hear and smell of a Central American country. bodies weaving in and out of crowds. vendors selling knic-knacks. odors of cooked pollo and arroz escaping from food trucks on the corners. music pumping from cars. shops. buses. we were all pumped up.

crammed on a mini bus, we set out for our hostel where we signed up to volunteer for a week helping them check in guests and other type duties in exchange for free accomodations. from the outside it looked like we were going to have an easy week ahead of us. on the inside, YIKES. we were greeted by two guests that quickly informed us that the owner was out of town and good luck. SAY WHAT?! time out. we're here to volunteer. instructions and a tour of the place would be nice. not much to the place and it was clear that it was under construction in parts where they were expanding but over all it was a nice place and had a pool. word.

they helped us get in touch with the owner. during our conversation where i could hear every third word, i picked up that we were to check guests in. prices were on the board. room five owed money. we were to sleep in the jungle house. new manager would be there tonight. the phone connection was GARBAGE. whatev. we'll make it work.

getting settled into the jungle house...hut on stilts...the idea is cool but sleeping in it, no thanks. ladder entrance. open air dorm. no bathrooms. being the GIANT that Scotty is in Central America, the place sways under his every movement.

later the new manager arrived. LOUD. messy. and clueless of how to run the place. ANGRY that the owner wasn't there to greet her. wonderful. we decided to hide across the street at the hole in the wall fish cafe for dinner. placed in front of us was an entire fish with a side of deep fried platanos. VERY GOOD.

the following afternoon, with our packs on our backs, the owner arrived. stormed in. angry with new manager and the ugly phone conversation they had early in the day. just as we heard voices escalate we glady walked out the front and NEVER looked back. LUCKILY we were recruited to volunteer at another hostel to bartend for a week and the offer couldn't have come at a better time.

Fun Facts:

-the national past time of Panama is baseball. unfortunately, its not their season while we are here :(

-Panama uses the American dollar as their currency. they have a mix of US coins and their own Panamainian coins. makes for easy transactions but strange to see our dollar in their country.

-food in Panama is much cheaper than Costa Rica. thank goodness!

we are two hours ahead of Seattle.

-turns out the owner of the hostel decided to fire all of his help two days before we arrived which explains the empty place upon our arrival. the new manager had arrived a day late which is why the owner and her didn't connect the day before. we wish them the best of luck.
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Stephen on

Reminds me of the last time I was in Mexico. The last place we ate on the way home I ordered pescado frito. OK, fried fish, that must be fish and chips, I thought. Right after ordering I was pissed at myself. Why would I order fish and chips in Mexico when up ‘till now the local food in the hole-in-walls had been delightful!? I felt much better when the plate came out, though. It was a whole fish - head, eyeballs, fins, skin - which had been dipped in boiling oil, I guess. Served on a bed of lettuce with lemon slices and various salsas, it was fantastic.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

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