Time. Has. Come! Our flight departed at 8 this morning. I couldn’t help but think of the movie, Coming to America. I almost, sorta kinda, slightly, felt like Eddie Murphy as the Prince of Zamunda (minus the riches and the fact that he was headed to America searching for a bride lol). We’re currently on layover in Atlanta and it feels SO GOOD to be home in America!! As soon as the plane landed in Atlanta there was a sense of exuberance, joy and happiness elating in the atmosphere! It felt SO GOOD to turn my data on and be able to text and call without the usage of third party apps. I couldn’t help but think of the song “Feels Good” by Tony Toni Tone (you need to look it up if you’ve never heard it). After going through customs and security once again, the first stop I made was of course Five Guys! I’ve been so deprived of a good burger and it felt like heaven biting into that succulent, juicy, tender, double cheeseburger!
Ever since we all woke up around 4:30 this morning we’ve been reminiscing on the good times and the memories that we will always share and have for the rest of our lives. Personally, I would say my favorite part of the trip, pertaining to business, would be visiting Super 99 and the MMG Bank. Pertaining to Panama’s culture, I would say my favorite part would have to be visiting the Embera village and my fishing trip. Out of all the cities that we visited my favorite was by far Chitre. When I grow up and get big and rich one day, I will most definitely return to Chitre and stay at La Cubita and shop at Riba Smith just as I did on this trip :).
As you’ve noticed, the title of my blog is The Real Panama. You may have been asking yourself, ‘what IS the REAL Panama?’ Well, it’s definitely NOT Panama City, FL!! The REAL Panama is 3,000 miles away. The REAL Panama is where humidity is at 100% ALL THE TIME. The REAL Panama is where you’re forced to immerse yourself into the culture, break your comfort zone, and speak Spanish. The REAL Panama is where you can get the daily newspaper, lotto tickets, AND go to the grocery store while sitting in your car in traffic because of the various vendors hustlin’ like no tomorrow. The REAL Panama is where you can shoot dice on one corner in Casco Viejo and literally take 10 steps and be in the Beverly Hills of Panama. The REAL Panama is where you have endless opportunities for business ventures and networking while having a sense of authentic pride of the Panamanian people along with support from your government. And most of all, The REAL Panama is where life-long memories have been made with 13 of my colleagues and an awesome professor that I will forever cherish and never forget. That’s The REAL Panama. You’ll NEVER get that in Florida-I can promise you that! There’s so much that I have taken from this trip that I can cultivate into my scholastic and personal life.
Even though I was ready to kick rocks and get away from the country, there will always be a special spot for Panama in my Passport. I am so thankful for the opportunity that God has provided and I feel that I have pleased him by taking advantage of my travels and work done during the program. I have finally earned the right to say that I have FULLY reached my goal of the International Business in Panama Seminar: “To grow not only academically, but culturally, and most of all personally.”
Till we meet again Panama…
-Muchas gracias y buen dia!