The World is Full of Good People

I feel like I have been showered with so much kindness lately!

I went biking this morning and was greeted with so many “hola”s and “Feliz Año”s and “Buen Dia”s. Two cars followed me through a couple high traffic areas with their flashers on to keep me safe. Countless cars waited as I crossed intersections, or stayed behind until there was room to pass me in the other lane. The guys at the veggie markets lit up with smiles when I came in and sent greetings home to Joel. A working guy biked with me and chatted for a few blocks until he reached his turn off. People tried to explain what it is like living in a Latin culture, but I think until you have experienced it you aren’t going to “get it”. It’s a whole different way of living and relating. You feel acknowledged, respected, and valued even by total strangers in the street.

Then, there were the many responses to my blog post yesterday in the comments, on Facebook, and in emails. It was such an outpouring of support, understanding, kindness, and compassion. I have the very best friends and blog followers! People have taken the time to write, to research and share information, and to reach out to me with such big hearts.

I just had to write a few words today to express how much I appreciate everyone who has been so kind to me. I feel very blessed. Thank you all.

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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.
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23 Responses to The World is Full of Good People

  1. oldsalt1942 says:

    I don’t know if what you’re talking about is common in all Latin cultures but it sure is here in Panama. For people who don’t live here, or for those who do an live in their insular worlds of homes, and cars, they miss the wonderful things here like when someone flags down a bus and as they get on they say, “buenos dias,” and at least half the bus, total strangers to the new riders, say “buenos dias,” back. I’m going to miss that when I have to leave in April.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, and they don’t just say “have a nice day” like the checkout person at Publix who has been trained to say that. They say hello to YOU, and they see YOU. I miss it more every time I go back to the US.

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  2. Suzanne says:

    Hi Kris
    I appreciate you taking time out of your day to share your life with us. I have learned so much about Panama and a Panamanian’s way of life from reading your blog.Hoping you will continue to share your adventure with us this next year. Thankyou!
    Suzanne

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  3. Linda says:

    This just warms my heart.
    Thank you for sharing.
    You are such a lovely person Kris. And look what you draw into your life!
    Goodness attracts more goodness.
    So happy for you and the lucky people who get to meet you along the way.
    xo
    L

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I had a discussion just last weekend on this. Yes, I try to stay positive and happy and that helps my experience of living. But, it’s also a lot of luck that I wasn’t born in Syria or Somalia, or dirt poor, or any number of circumstances that would have changed everything.
      I am fortunate to be in these circumstances and to have so many good people in my life, like you 🙂

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  4. Robert & Helen + 3 Caribbean and 1 Panamanian adopted dog. says:

    Lo mismo en España/IItalia. Like in the U.K. nobody says good morning when entering the subway. Same in my native country The Netherlands. Latin culture is more relaxed and friendly. Greetings from Boquete. Robert & Helen + 4 dogs – Boquete.

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  5. That’s so great that the world is smiling on you, and you in turn passed those smiles on to us!

    Yes, they’re equally as lovely here in Ecuador!

    Lisa

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  6. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    Some of the culture is the difference between rural folks and urban folks. David is a city but the whole area is mainly agriculture and ranching. Panama City is a different culture but still friendlier and slower paced than most places in the US. That being said, we seldom run into difficult people since we greet everyone with a smile and a Hi. This past week a work crew from the power company was trimming tree limbs away from the power lines and we served them coffee and chatted while they cut and hauled the brush from our yard. The three guys working our yard were all Salvadorians, aged 50 to 27. They travel all over the country on contracts for various electric power companies. The Latin culture was still strong in their manner.

    I believe is anyone takes time to say hi and smile, 90% of the time you will get a similar response in return.

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    • Yep, or 99% of the time here. It’s very rare that my smile and greeting isn’t returned.

      Funny… I was in northern California on my bike trip having just had my bike boxed so I could put it on a bus for a dangerous stretch. I struggled with it for block after block, passing people of all ages and abilities who paid me no mind. Who finally stopped to help? A Latino girl with a little baby. She moved a trunk full of stuff so she could get the box in the car, and gave me a ride the last few blocks to the bus stop.

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    • jim and nena says:

      Here it works the other way for us. I spent a lot of time visiting the hardware/lumber/auto parts stores (I have too many projects) and often I hear Mexicans trying to find stuff. I offer to help as the clerks don’t speak Spanish and spend as long as it takes to get them going. They always tell me I should be working there and I always tell them I can’t, I’m retired. I know our mail lady’s name as well as a couple of the guys who regularly drive the trash trucks on our street. I put out iced, bottled water when the temps hit 90, and those hot packs for gloves when temps are going the other way.

      It is surprising how little time it takes to make the next guy’s day a little easier. It turns out I don’t have an empathy gene in my DNA (didn’t even know there was one!) but it just seems easier to take a moment to connect with those around you.

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  7. Sunni Morris says:

    Kris,

    Yes, you’re right about circumstances, but good attracts more good as stated by Linda above. Somehow I think that would be the case in any circumstances but maybe to a different degree. Expectations would be different. It might be hard to find any goodness to give if you had no hope for anything.

    I’m glad you made it to Panama and are having the time of your life. It always helps to stay positive about everything. As Jim said above, smiling is everything. It’s hard for people to be negative if you kill them with kindness. That works well in my job here in the US. Few people are nasty if you smile and pull them into your world.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy V says:

    It sounds wonderful! And warm. Predicting snow storm (2″) here in Virginia today. I’m planning my exploratory visit in the spring and if I like it …and what’s not to like … this will be my last winter here 🙂

    Like

    • Snow? Ewww! 😀
      I hope you like Panama as much as we do. But, there are things not to like and it doesn’t work for everyone. Most people speak only Spanish, getting things done can involve visits to multiple offices and copies of everything, there are spiders and bugs, if you come before the rains return it could be hotter than heck, and that great spice you love, you may not see it again for many months… but if you are flexible and look at it as an adventure, it can be great fun to figure out all the new and different things.

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    • Arlo & JulieAnn Kehren says:

      I would suggest taking a trip with Jackie Lange and Panama Relocation Tours. Jackie points out the plus and minus of each area of the country on a six day tour. Jackie sells nothing so she is not concerned with sales commissions like two other widely known companies. We took the tour and got to meet numerous expats in various areas. Best money we spent. We are getting our cedulas this February. Very excited. Currently it is 2 degrees Fahrenheit with a minus 25 to 30 below wind chill here in northern Wisconsin, USA. There are lots of pluses in Panama, but like Kris says, the people are what makes the country so inviting.

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      • But, I live here, have lived here for over four years. Even before we moved we knew we wanted to be in a city and where it was warm. There wouldn’t be any point in taking a tour that took us to beach towns or mountains.
        Sheesh, good luck in that cold! I won’t tell you how pleasant it is right now at sunset, sitting on the terrace in my shorts and t-shirt.

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      • oh! You were responding to someone else. Usually I land on a page with all the comments in a grid and that doesn’t look the same and what you all see. Sorry.

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      • jim and nena says:

        Hi Arlo & JulieAnn,
        Respectfully, I don’t believe meeting expats to learn about a country is the best method unless you are looking for a retirement community of expats in which to live. I also believe that with the money spent on one six day tour that you could make several independent trips to explore at various times of the year.
        Panama’s dry and wet seasons must be experienced to be believed and the experience will be very different depending on location and elevation. The humidity in the mountains can feel thick enough to cut; the heat in the coastal areas can be oppressive.
        I have known Panama for 40 years and love it, but I don’t love all of it all of the time. Fortunately for us, when we visit, we get to see many different areas of Chiriqui when they are at their best. Try a short visit during the peak of the rainy season and again at the height of the dry season. Panama has more variety in a smaller area than almost anywhere else. Somewhere in there you will find your spot.

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  9. Sunni Morris says:

    Very well said, Kris. People know what they’re in for.

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