Our First Three Months in Panama

It’s hard to believe it’s been three months since we’ve moved here. Actually it’s been more than that for me because I arrived three weeks earlier to get things set up.

It’s been better than I dared hope and I am very very happy here. I know we’re still in the honeymoon phase and there will be things that annoy us, but I can’t see anything changing that much. I think it will only get better as my Spanish improves, we learn more about our community, and make more friends here.

  • I like the city of David. It is big enough to have everything we need, but not so big that it’s overwhelming. It’s lively, colorful, and growing.
  • I like Chiriqui. It’s so beautiful, and there is everything from beaches to mountains. Every day I love seeing the beauty around us everywhere we go.
  • I like the country of Panama. Unemployment is low. Construction is happening. It is growing and prospering, and people are optimistic and happy to be here. The stresses of life here are so much less.
  • I like the climate. How nice never to worry about cold weather again, not even the chilly weather of winter in Florida.
  • I like the cost of living, which is a fraction of what it was in the US.
  • I like the food, the abundant fresh fruits and vegetables, fish fresh from the sea, delicious and healthy food. And, if you want familiar US food, you can get that too.
  • I like the attitude. It’s calmer here, happier. People aren’t scrambling to keep up, to produce, to achieve, to stay on the hamster wheel. People work, but they also have fun, and smile, and enjoy life.
  • Most of all, I like the people. They are gentle, loving, friendly, strong, and resourceful. They are family oriented, and treat their children with such gentleness and kindness. They are friendly and welcoming to strangers, and lend a helping hand to anyone if they see a need. I feel very fortunate to live with such good people.

This isn’t a complete list of everything I find good in Panama, only the main points. The things I find difficult are all from my side – difficulties with communication because my Spanish is far from fluent, and problems finding things because I’m still not familiar with everything in the city. But, at this point, there is nothing I can think of that’s a problem with Panama or this area, at least not for us.

I would say our first quarterly report is overwhelmingly positive!

Photo above from cheezburger.com
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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
This entry was posted in expatriate, Miscellaneous, moving, Panama and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Our First Three Months in Panama

  1. Amy Lyle says:

    I’m finally catching up on your blog!!!!

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  2. how wonderful it is to awaken and be happy every day! i am so proud of you two! z

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    • kristc99 says:

      Thank you, yes, it’s wonderful. We are so very fortunate to be able to do this! But, you know because you have done it too 🙂

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      • exactly! and so many people have told me over the years that they envy my life and wish they had the guts to do what i did! you’ll be hearing the same if you haven’t already!

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      • kristc99 says:

        Oh yes I sure have. Occasionally people think we’re nuts, moving to a “third world country”. Others wish they could, or think we are so “lucky”. It’s not wishing or luck, but DOING it. I don’t have the guts to try and survive retirement in the US actually, so for me it’s the easier road. The third world country thing though… I think NOT. But, that’s a discussion for another day.

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  3. Adding Panama to my list – I refuse to retire anywhere with winter.

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    • kristc99 says:

      I think there are a lot of reasons to put Panama on your list. Of course it depends on what works for you, what you want and need, but I certainly don’t feel like I’ve given up anything important to me, and I’ve gained so much.

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  4. joeltc1 says:

    Right on target! Well said!

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  5. Oh Boy! I’m thrilled to hear your oh so very optimistic report on the first three months in Panama. Cheers to you! I am looking forward to writing my three month post from there! Life is good and just keeps getting better!!

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    • kristc99 says:

      We are really happy here. We have run into other expats who don’t seem so happy so I can’t speak for everyone, but it is working out wonderfully for us.

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  6. the adventure has started well!

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  7. Kongo says:

    Kris, I love reading your Panama updates. What would you say the biggest disappointment has been so far in this adventure?

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    • kristc99 says:

      I had a hard time coming up with one so I asked my husband. He did a lot of ebay selling in the US, and we both would shop on line a bit. It’s much more complicated, costly, and time consuming to get things sent in and out of Panama. There is no home mail delivery, and the one letter sent to us 5 weeks ago still hasn’t shown up at the post office here. We are going to look into something with Mailboxes, Etc or a similar service and see how that works.

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  8. Congratulations! It is refreshing to have a positive quarterly report. Your attitude is what makes life enjoyable in Panama…don’t listen to those disgruntled expats. 🙂

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    • kristc99 says:

      Thank you 🙂 Disgruntled expats? Yes, we run into a lot of them here, and I wonder why they stay if they aren’t happy. I might write a post on that one day. But we are not disgruntled, for sure!

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  9. Jill Nelson says:

    I so want to move to Panama after reading your blog.

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    • kristc99 says:

      Come and visit! Now you know someone here who can show you around a little 🙂 If you visit and find you like it too, it might be something to consider. You’re adventuresome and have traveled a lot, so it might be a wonderful experience for you too.

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  10. Richard says:

    I agree with you about the mail problem. I’m STILL waiting on a Christmas card sent from Tampa, and it’s the fourth of February today. My brother could have WALKED here with it by now.

    On the other hand, without home mail service there are no addresses as we know them in the States. The electric and water bills are hand delivered, though, and I LOVE the “addresses.” To Union Fenosa, the electric company, I am “Al fondo casa dos pisos, entrada caseta.” Which, loosely translates as “The two story house at the end of the street with the bus stop shelter.” IDAAN, the water company, lists me as “Casa dos pisos cerca del Centro de Salud,” or “The two story house near the Health Clinic.” How can you not love that?

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    • kristc99 says:

      I know! Even FedEx, when we were considering sending something with them had an address something like – on this street, first floor, next to the real estate company, or something like that. LOL But, somehow it all seems to work.

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  11. yeah it looks like you really enjoyed staying in panama

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