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Hablas Espanol?

Last Tuesday I was talking with my bilingual Panamanian neighbor, trying to get tips for learning Spanish faster. “No tengo paciencia! Quiero hablar Espanol ahora!” I said. (I don’t have patience. I want to speak Spanish now.) Grrr. The most frustrating thing is that I WANT TO COMMUNICATE. Communicating is Read more…

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My Favorite Barista

Okay, my title is a little misleading because the girl I’m about to tell you about is not a barista. But she did give me coffee and that’s what baristas do, right? When I told people I was coming to Panama, a lot of them asked, “Is it a mission Read more…

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Panamanian Men

I would not be completely honest if I didn’t write a post about one aspect of Panama. Specifically, the guys. More specifically, they’re pushier. Male Distance I want to make three points. #1 In general, men come closer then in the United States. #2 Guys are bolder about asking you Read more…

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Gringo is a verb

How we use the word “gringo” and why it’s important Imagine this scene: (it happened last Sunday) I’m walking along the questionable sidewalks of Panama with my sister and dad. Suddenly my sister stabs me in the side. “Did you hear that?” She hisses. “What?” I said. “Those guys.” She Read more…

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Learning Spanish in Panama

It’s a journey I wish I’d started at 5 or 6… But I didn’t so I’m starting now! The beginning All right, so my backpack and tennis shoes has been ceremoniously plonked on Panama soil for one month. It’s been a whirl of hotels, cultural awkwardies, meeting new faces, forgetting Read more…

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Panama & U.S – Four Big Differences

“Soy de los Estados Unidos.” That is what I tell Panamanians. I’m from the United States.  The U.S. is culturally different from Panama. Spending a lot of time in Panama, I’m trying to be sensitive to Panamanian culture and basically avoid insulting people. Cultural differences between the U.S. and Panama #1 Manners Read more…

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Self-Conscious in the U.S.?

At 16, I could have won a contest for the most self-conscious Before school I used to stand in front of our mirror. Does peachy-pink go with aqua? Do my boots look dorky? Is my coat cute? One day to my horror, I realized I’d worn two “busy” clothes in public: Read more…