Saturday, May 17, 2008

Panama....the experience

Change seems to be the constant in my life right now. Maybe it’s the slow realization that I’m not in Colorado anymore. And the realization that I’m now that awkward foreign exchange student trying to prove to others that, “Yes, I was actually pretty cool back home”. But it’s hard to express how cool you really are when you are slowly learning their language and when your clothes are not Panamanian style.

It’s definitely a lifestyle change when your host family is worried when you’re not home by nine….and usually that was the time that you left the house to go out.

Poco a poco I’m getting used to grabbing fresh fruit off a tree, riding a pimped out old school bus for public transport, cold showers, and telenovas.

I do like Panama for all of you sitting there scratching your heads and wondering. I like that I live in a really small town. I like that my host family here is so big, so close, and I’m introduced to others as their daughter. I like that I can read a Spanish newspaper and know what it is saying. I like that when I go to tech classes and during break I can go play with Pepe the monkey. And I like that my family is constantly teaching me new things. For example: today I’m killing a chicken for a party. Every day is a new experience and a chance for me to learn something new.

Even though my life is constantly changing, I’ve been struck by one other constant in my life: God. Last night while trying to fall asleep I was listening to a song and I realized how true the words were. It goes something like this:

All the things my feet thought to be firm
Are falling with urgency
Tearing back my false sense of security
Some say, “Things change, nothing stays the same”
But the sweetness in my ears
Safe in your arms
Speak the words I love to hear

You have been more faithful
Than the morning sun
You have been more faithful
Than knowing night will come
You have been more faithful
Than the changing of seasons

All the things I thought
That I used to know
Falling down again
Our disillusionment is how we grow
Some say, “Things change, nothing stays the same”
In a world of inconsistency
Everything’s the now
What causes my heart to believe?

You have been more faithful…..


Elleah said...

I love those lyrics! I'm glad you're enjoying your experiences in Panama and it's really cool to hear your stories about it!

klerch said...

That song was hugely important to me during my senior year of high school. Amazing lyrics.

I'm glad you are loving where you are. What a crazy life you are living.

Say hi to Pepe.

Doug said...

Killing a chicken... takes me back to one of the most tramatic experiences of my childhood. I shall blog about that one.

Living in another country is such a weird experience at first because you feel totally out of place. Within a month or two you start to find your place and life becomes more mundane (if only because you're used to everything). But it's an experience that will change you in huge ways, and I recommend it to everybody. Being in a place where you may not speak the language well (like me when I first lived in Mexico) forces you to put yourself out there in ways you never thought you could. It makes you more outgoing, more willing to make a fool of yourself. And it's entirely freeing.

I envy you, Jaime. It makes me wish I were 21 again.

Doug said...

And I just realized it's Jamie, not Jaime. Sorry, drinking....

Anonymous said...

Supertramp, hey! If you have time how about a few pictures with your posts. Seriously, I want to see if you're sporting that holy-smokes kinda smile. I know you won't believe me now but just as an fyi, surfbums = worthless playboys. A is A. Well, I was planning on writing more however the spinner reads 'left foot yellow'. Keep your head in the shade.-bro

Jonathan said...

Estoy feliz para oir que tu espanol es tan bueno para leer las notizias.

Daesha said...

I'll admit it - I'm a little jealous. Sometimes I wish I were cutting off a chicken's head in someone's back yard in Panama and reading newspapers in Spanish. Or doing somthing similarly Latin. And you're right. He is faithful, no matter what adventure we're on!