I flew into Panama a day later than everyone else because I was coming from Florida on a previous trip. I was so excited and wasn’t quite sure what to expect coming into a foreign country for the first time by plane. The only other foreign country I had been to, was Mexico in Mexicali. I was excited to see the country and see how we were going to interact with our team Movement Exchange as well as the people in the community and the children we would be teaching. I sort of didn’t know what to expect so I just dove into it and told myself to not hold back teaching and dance my heart out.
The first night we had a really good dinner at a close restaurant. I wasn’t too sure what to expect with the food but it was AMAZING! The fish in Panama was incredible. After dinner we got a quick little tour from Anna of Casco Viejo (the city we were staying in for 4 days.) I kept feeling like I was in Spain, even though I’ve never even been there. We were right by the water, where all the architecture and views were unbelievable.
Later after we got back from dinner and our short tour, Syon, Brittney, Madison and I (the three other girls from my school at Azusa Pacific University) were practicing the choreography we were going to teach to the girls at Malambo Orphanage the next day (Monday) and also what we were going to be teaching to the students at the University of Panama and the rest of our movement exchange team on Tuesday. We were in a room on the second or third level of the hostel we were staying at. It overlooked the city. We started counting in Spanish, which was fun and it helped some of us feel confident that we knew a little Spanish. But as we continued to practice and go over the dances, we stopped and saw where we were and said, “Guys …were here…we’re in Panama.
We didn’t know what to expect, but we were ready to teach and ready to dance.
Streets of Casco Viejo
Syon and I at Dinner
Maddison and Brittney