Since I moved to Panama, I have met so many people from all over the world – people from various states in the U.S., from Canada, from Ireland, from Italy, from Costa Rica, etc., along with may Panamanians. I think it’s more than I have ever met while living in one town at a time in California. It used to be in Auburn, CA, considered a rural town of 13,000, that wherever you went, you would always run into someone you knew at the market, clothing store, gas station, park, etc. But in recent years before moving here to Pedasí, it was no longer that way, perhaps due to others moving away and many new people moving in. People seemed to isolate themselves even more; neighbors did not get to know each other even in our little condo complex. Unless you were active in a church or a member of a social/professional group; or you worked in Auburn, most people would keep to themselves.
Not that I know everyone in Pedasí (far from it), but I can walk down the street any day and probably run into someone I know. And if I don’t know them, there is always the welcomed “Bueno”, “Como esta?”, or “Hola” greeting along with a smile from just about anyone passing by. People can still choose to isolate themselves, but it seems that we are more friendly and willing to talk to each other when the opportunity avails itself.
Of course this blog has opened up many opportunities to meet other bloggers especially in Panama: Karen, who also lives here in Pedasí (In Da Campo), Kris in David (The Panama Adventure), Don Rey, also in David (Chiriqui Chatter), Holly in Boquete (Let the Adventure Begin), to name a few. You can go to there sites via “Blogs I Follow” links on the side bar of this blog. This blog has also opened doors to meet those who read and/or follow online, both in person and through online communication. Some of the people we have personally met while visiting Pedasí. They have emailed us when they will be here and we arrange to have coffee or a meal with them, sometimes inviting them over for drinks and one of Mikkel’s home-cooked dinners. Then, more than once, there have been some we have met quite by coincidence in town. While walking alongside the road or eating in a restaurant, people recognize me from reading my postings and just come up and introduce themselves. Mikkel says I have “groupies” now. I wouldn’t call them that, but I always enjoy meeting people who have followed this blog. And it is nice to hear that what I have to say is helpful, especially to those considering moving to Panama or just wanting to visit. I don’t consider myself an expert of any means. This blog is just about my experiences moving here with family members, friends, and anyone else interested. I selfishly have to admit it is somewhat therapeutic to write out my thoughts and feelings as well.
For both of us, it is always fun meeting and getting to know others from all over the world. We have learned so much about different places, customs, beliefs, adventures, etc. from those we have met. We thoroughly love having people over to our house, or meeting them at theirs, or somewhere else. There is a special camaraderie when we meet together for the first time; it seems like people are so much more friendly and open to share, more so than any place I have been in the states.
So to those reading this blog, I thank you for taking an interest. If you come to Pedasí, let me know. Would love to meet you personally if we are available. Or if you just happen to see me in your travels, don’t hesitate to say hello. Everyone else does. It is one of the reasons we chose to live in Pedasí. The added benefit is that we get to meet people from all over. To my friends back in the U.S, I have not forgotten you and look forward to possibly seeing you again when I visit the U.S. But we can still keep in touch via the internet; I always enjoy hearing from you as well as anyone we have met here. I consider all my friends, here and abroad, as treasures.