Un año en Panamá ~ Part Three

Today I’ll go over the list I created and posted on FaceBook before the blog titled Five Things About Canada and see if they still ring true one year later.  If you’ve been following you know the drill; the original text is in italics my new comments follow each section.

Five Things I Miss About Canada

My family and BFF’s. Please come and visit…your room is waiting. But don’t come in wet season unless you want to experience and new variety of bug every day;

 We did have one visit so far from SU’s parents.  As a heads up to the rest of the family and our friends; they were pleasantly surprised at how nice we live and how beautiful the country is.  The room is still waiting and I miss my babies and the rest of our family, that will probably never change.  Come for a visit any time;

Some foods that we Canadians/Albertans are known for producing the best of…beef, and whole grains – wheat, bran, corn bran etc. Although Panama has some of the best fresh free range chicken we’ve ever had and amazing tuna, we still haven’t found a good cut of beef. The search continues. Whole grains are impossible to find even in the city except for raisin bran cereal;

I’ve managed to find whole wheat flour, bran, oat bran and flax and mastered the art of baking a loaf of bread; finally.

Alberta Beef is still beyond compare and we continue to be disappointed by the beef here.  Surprisingly, we did manage to have a couple of good steaks the other day after many tries and almost giving up.  We look forward to a juicy steak when we return home for a visit.  Hamburger is good, chicken is great, fish is fantastic here;


Items for the cats. Yes…I know it sounds petty but these boys really love to play and cats are like a throw away animal in this country so finding items like a litter box, litter and toys is difficult. They are using a big wash tub that says something about liking New York on the bottom in the typical Chinese to English translation that is on a lot of consumer goods here, always good for a laugh;

Dos Gatos still enjoy play time but now they chase bugs and lizards in the garden.  We’ve managed to find a few toys and El Gordo bought some mouseys on a return trip to Canada and donated one to the cause.  We now have a rectangular plastic box for them that is supposed to be a storage box, but it works just fine;

Dos Gatos as kittens after the fence went up and they were allowed outside.

Dos Gatos as kittens after the fence went up and they were allowed outside.


Home Depot, Rona, Lowes. Sometimes we have to go to several hardware stores to find what we need for the house and even then we have to travel farther afield to find what we need; and

SU has his established stores that he goes to where he knows he can find certain hardware items.  Now that most of the highway is open to Chitré it doesn’t take long to whip into the larger town and find what we want or need.  What we want or need has diminished over time; and

Canadian money. Our money is so pretty and it always feels clean even if it really isn’t, especially with the new bills. American money all looks the same and feels like a wet Kleenex in the humidity here.

I still find US money wet and dirty feeling but it spends the same as any other money.  I’m looking forward to seeing the new five and ten-dollar bills from Canada.

I think that this is the list that has probably changed the most.  It’s interesting how my wants and needs have changed over the last year.  I still miss the family and friends but the rest is “stuff” that doesn’t make life any less better in the campo.  As the saying goes; “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.  They just make the best of everything.”  And so goes life in the campo.

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About indacampo

You'll find me at https://indacampo.wordpress.com/ blogging about Panama...and other things.
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10 Responses to Un año en Panamá ~ Part Three

  1. Carol says:

    Well outlined! All the same things we too found “new and challenging”. The very best feeling of all…is mastering these everyday things and…2 years later for us…we feel we can navigate fairly well. You guys have done amazing though, and you still answer many of our questions. Never stop learning,,,right.

    • indacampo says:

      Gracias amiga!

      There is always something to be learned which is part of the fun! 🙂 Even if some days are more difficult than others.

  2. shellmcc1106 says:

    Have you ever been able to find quinoa in the stores?

    • indacampo says:

      Funny, I was commenting not long ago that quinoa is something that I miss. I imagine that if I went looking for it in the city or maybe even David I might find it. We don’t get there much though. I will check the next time again at Pricesmart hoping for one of the big green bags that I used to get at Costco! 🙂 We do eat brown rice which is grown in the Azuero.

  3. Debbie Curtis says:

    Love your blog! Very helpful and entertaining, as well! Do you live in Las Tablas? We visited last year and fell in love with it! It’s on our “list.” We met a couple from Canada who purchased a small abode on the beach outside of Las Tablas. Front yard – Pacific Ocean. Beautiful but quirky – no road. Only way in along the beach. At low tide. But we loved it! Beach only gets busy on Sundays with Panamian families, which they now are considered.

    • indacampo says:

      No we live in Pedasi about a half hour down the road. We looked at a house at the beach outside Las Tablas but it needed way to much work and we found it a little far removed from town. And the beach is not as pretty as the beaches here. I think the house is still for sale if you’re looking for a project. 🙂

  4. Loca Gringa says:

    Oh wow! The differences …
    1. I so miss Home Depot, Canada Safeway, Walmart …
    2. Can’t find bras here above a B cup, and clothing is always 3 sizes too small on everyone (hell no, not me).
    3. Waiting in line for hours upon hours on end.
    4. Having to take several forms of public transportation to get from point A to B
    5. Miss MSG free foods.
    6. Better quality of medical care … IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!
    7. Better quality of food in DR
    8. Better quality air in DR
    9. Friendlier people in DR, though not necessarily safer.
    10. Far more laid back in DR, not sure if that’s a plus or minus.
    Some things are better/worse, it’s a trade off.

    • indacampo says:

      Agree with Number 1, although I’m sure if we returned home it wouldn’t be that thrilling after a couple of weeks.

      Number 2, don’t have to worry about the boobage factor, lots of bras that will fit me here, I’m obviously much smaller than you but I feel your pain. The clothing I have to agree on. I have learned that I must shop at stores that carry “American” clothing. I think that means for people that are above a size 2.

      Number 3 – Like I’ve said we’ve learned patience and some days you just hit the line right and it makes all the difference. It’s the small things that make us happy. 🙂

      Number 4 – We’re very lucky we have our own vehicle. But the autobus here seems to be quite efficient and cheap.

      Number 5 – I have become a more voracious label reader than I was at home. And I was pretty bad. I never knew that there was so many foods containing MSG left in the world. I thought it was a Panamanian phenomenon but it must be a Latin American thing.

      Number 6 – I haven’t had anything catastrophic occur here but the clinic in town does seem quite efficient. It is a bonus to be able to go to the Farmacia and just tell them what you want without a prescription.

      Have to agree with 7,8,9, 10 although not about the safety. Feel just as safe or safer than in Canada.

      Agreed it is a trade off, but on the other hand not shoveling the white stuff for six or seven months could tip the scales….:)

      • Loca Gringa says:

        Jajaja, clearly the absence of white stuff wins out or we would be in Canada. I would not have gone to another snow filled country, even though I do miss it 🙂

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