Awkward Panama Stories

A series of unfortunate events in the tropics

We’ve been in Panama for two months now. While we’ve had some truly magical moments, there have also been some really awkward, sometimes dangerous, and just plain maddening times where we’ve both wanted to cry and grab the nearest plane ticket back to Denver. So without further ado…

Awkward Panama Stories

#1) How we communicate in Bocas Del Toro

Ahh! Are you okay? Yeah. A cockroach jumped on me and then scurried under the sink.

Hey, is that a big ole scorpion hanging out in our living room? Yep. Yeah it is. That’s a scorpion.

Ahh! Oh, wait. Okay. What babe? Oh, nothing. Something fell on my hand but it was only a lizard.

Jesus! You okay? Is it a bug? Huge roach on our bed. I tried to get him but he ran into our bed frame. So… other bedroom tonight?

Woah! What? Guess. Lizard? Yep. Eating our lettuce. I stuck my hand in the bag and there he was!

Noo! Jesus! You okay? Why are you awake? The giant flying cockroach is in our room and it’s flying into the walls!

#2) The Loudest Neighbors on Earth

Our AirBnb provided us with a rusty machete by the front door, and now I know how we’re gonna use it.

It’s 2 am on a Thursday.

“I’d burn that village to the ground.” Topher says. I laugh, which might be my way of not crying.

The music is coming from a single house over a mile away. It’s so loud that even though we’re separated by a body of water, a mile of distance, a hill, some dense tropical jungle, and the walls of our house, we are still being kept awake. Even though we both have earplugs in to make it stop (just make it stop already!). Even though we have on the noisest fan in the world. That damn music sounds like it’s being playing right in our bedroom.

#3) Our Common Google Searches

Headache, chills, and muscle aches- Dengue?

Diarhhea and vomiting, Dengue?

Stomach problems for three days now. Do I have dengue?

Lethargic. Dengue?

Hungry… Dengue?

Feeling happy to be alive. Is it Dengue?

#4) Machete Men at Careneros

I looked at the giant puddle in front of me and sighed. I was going to get my tennis shoes all wet and gross and they wouldn’t dry out for days and…

Madi, come over here right now.

Topher wouldn’t say anything like that unless it was serious. I jumped through the gross puddle and took his hand, resisting the urge to stop and look back, opting to trust him at this moment.

Two guys with machetes running up behind us.

We looked back and it was hard to tell, as they’d stopped pursuing us. If they had been… we were unsure. So when we got to the restaurant we decided to ask our favorite waiter about it.

Elias, are there robberies on this street?

Oh yeah!

… Great.

The Many Times we Needed Antibiotics

5) The Time Topher walked through sewage with a cut on his heel

It got infected. It was gross.

6) The time Madi almost ruptured her ear drums on the flight over

I had a sinus infection on the flight into Bocas, and my ears couldn’t clear. Instead of watching the bright blues and greens of the Caribbean, I was crying into Topher’s arms and thinking I had gone permanently partially-deaf. It took four days for my hearing to return to normal, and there was liquid swishing around my ears for three weeks. Lesson learned, I am NEVER flying with bad congestion ever again. Most terrifying experience ever.

7) The time Topher got some creepy bug bites which swelled up his ankles

We worried it was a serious infection. Luckily, it wasn’t.