Adios Amigos!

This is the morning most of us have been dreading. Departure day has arrived and it is quite bittersweet to say the least. However, I am happy to say that I am leaving this place with lots of memories and a new perspective on life. I may not fully realize how much I learned while being abroad, but I feel like it is more than I could have learned sitting in a classroom for 3 hours a day. I am extremely thankful and feel very blessed for getting the opportunity to not only travel, but to learn and observe a new culture as well. The experience itself was priceless and is not anything that could have been written in a book. That is the beauty of traveling abroad to learn. I will try my best to express my thoughts about the trip, but I know I will forget something due to the fact that I took full advantage of my time here and could not possibly remember every detail.

Going to a new country with new faces is always a little nerve wracking. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I chose to take part in this study abroad. However, spontaneous me was craving adventure. So, why not? Our first meeting was a little bit awkward because it was my first time seeing the other students that I was about to spend 3 weeks with. Then we had our first official class session and even then I had only met one guy. Finally, we were in country and we had gotten to know each other a little bit better. The first week was all about Panama and adventuring around the country. Our first weekend during our little beach getaway was the weekend that the whole group really bonded. It amazed me how well we all got along and I knew it was going to be a wonderful 2 more weeks.

The second week was super exhausting. Meetings every other hour, all day long. I went into the week without knowing a single thing about Panama’s economy or banking system, but by the end of the week after hearing the same information over and over I was an expert. I loved every minute of it and later in life I will be so thankful for having so many meetings every day. I came to learn and boy oh boy did I learn! After each lecture and because the material was all new to me, I would ask my roommate a million questions to try and fully understand everything that we had just discussed. Week two flew by so fast that it was hard to keep up with updating family back home. I would get back to the dorms so exhausted from the day that I just had to take a nap. Nap time was essential for the long learning days. Week 2 went by even faster than week 1. 

Week 3, our last week in country. This week consisted of 3 lecture days, 2 free days, and one final exam day. Two of the three lecture days were spent in Colon. We got to ride the train to our first lecture and I felt like I was in a Harry Potter movie, but who is Harry and who is Potter anyways? Hehe. It was an awesome experience! The night we stayed in Colon was the night our group had to throw together a presentation for some executives. The meeting was at 10am and we got the requirements at 4pm the night before. Wow, talk about stress! When the meeting came, we were ready and we killed it. I actually really loved this “real life” business situation. After the big presentation came the big final, which was on Friday. After the final, I realized I learned so much material over the last 3 weeks in country.

Not only did I learn from the lectures, but most of all I learned from my own observations and experiences. I was living in the now, which sometimes put me behind on my blog posts, but I had to enjoy my time because of how limited it was. I only wish all of my friends could have gone to gain the priceless experiences that I will remember for a lifetime. It is simply not the same when I tell them about my time in Panama. This trip has shown me how beneficial it is to travel abroad. I am ready for round 2… and round 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. Heres to Panama and to my future traveling experiences. Salud!


Haley Janae


The Old Times

BOOM! Saturday is here! It is the last full Saturday and the last weekend I have abroad. Today was so much fun. We went on a tour to Embera! Then we had the rest of the day to do whatever. We decided to check out some local nightlife with our driver, Alex. Tomorrow is a free day for us, so we thought it was the perfect night to go out and experience the local nightlife.

Heading for the Embera, I was not too sure what to expect. My professor explained that we would be taking a canoe ride to the villages of the where some Panamanians live. It was like a tribe or something along those lines. He also said to not wear anything that you care about getting dirty because it will most likely get dirty. So here I am, on the bus wondering what the heck I was getting myself into. The road to get to this place was full of potholes and in the middle of nowhere. Once we pulled up to the place, I immediately saw some of the people from the “tribe”. They were wearing nothing but a teeny tiny cloth to cover themselves. It looked super native. They led us down to the boats that they handmade and once we were all in with out life jackets securely fastened, we were off to their villages and huts. On the ride, the first thing I saw was a mom and son washing their clothes near the river and then banging the clothes on the rocks. IT was very interesting to watch. A little later on, we all saw an alligator in the water. It was probably 10 feet away from us. CRAZY! We were still moving up the river when all of a sudden, the water became to shallow and our canoe got stuck! The only way to get it unstuck was to climb out and push the boat until it was in deep enough water. We had to get in the water with shoes and everything. It really added to the overall experience. Finally, we made it to the first stopping point. I climbed out of the canoe and began to hike in the wilderness with my fellow classmates and some of the natives. The hike itself was absolutely beautiful. We were surrounded by so much nature. The hike involved climbing across and over rock formations, walking through rivers, and trekking through the mud. We were all pleasantly surprised by what the trail led to: a waterfall. It was absolutely beautiful and so worth the fun hike to get there. We even jumped in the little swimming hole at the base of the waterfall. I was so content with life in this moment. I could not think of a place I would have rather been. After taking several pictures at the waterfall, we made the trek back to our canoes to continue the tour. At the next stop along the river, we were greeted with some sort of native chant/music. When I say music, I mean that they were making sounds using things like turtle shells, homemade recorders (the kind we all had to learn how to play in 2nd grade), maracas, etc. We were at their villages at this point. Here, we saw a couple traditional dances and we even got to participate!! Hahaha it was quite a sight. It was so interesting to see how they could live so simply. No WIFI, no TV, no nothing. Only the bare necessities. I was amazed. How is it that the youth in America feel like they cannot survive without WIFI? Literally, they think it is the end of the world if there is not WIFI somewhere. They need to visit this village to realize how “lucky” they are. I personally would not mind living the simple life, eating good healthy food, and not have to worry about too much. This is one of the experiences that gave me a different perspective on my life back in the states. It made me realize that I should be able to tolerate when things do not go right in my life because it could be worse.

After our excursion to the Embera, I was exhausted. I went straight back to the dorms and passed out. Tomorrow is a free day, so I will be taking full advantages of my free time. See ya later!


Haley Janae


Wow, this week has just flown by. How is it already Friday??? This morning, my group and I got to do something extra special. We got the privilege of visiting with the co founder of a small coffee boutique in town. After our visit at the coffee shop, we had a lecture about the logistic future in Panama and then ended our Friday with a night out in Casco Viejo.

Before we left for Panama, we were divided into 4 groups. Each group was then assigned a case study dealing with scouting out a certain industry in Panama to see if doing business here would be beneficial or not. My group, the Slow Steamerz, got the assigned the coffee industry. It was now our job to come up with some sort of business plan in this specific industry. We decided that it would be best to sit down and talk with someone who knew way more about the Panamanian coffee industry than we did, so we set up a meeting with the co founder of a small coffee shop in town called Don Vicente Coffee. We learned so much about the coffee industry during our meeting with Javier. When trying to penetrate a market, you must first study the market, study the consumers, see an opportunity, and choose a target market. I thought that it was interesting to get this advice because each meeting we go to, the start up advice is different. Hearing all of the different perspectives really helps me gain a deeper understanding about starting up a business and shows me just how many different approaches one can take in order to be successful. As our meeting progressed, we were served an espresso shot. Not only was this THE best coffee I have ever tasted, but I was also shown how to properly appreciate a coffee. There are 5 things to think about when drinking a coffee. First, the taste. Coffee must have an underlying taste to it. Anything from a chocolate taste to a citrus taste. Next, the bitterness has to be just right. Then, one must examine the body of the coffee. This is basically looking at how dense the coffee is. Lastly, one must observe how the coffee smells in the cup and also evaluate how the coffee smells in the bag. If it does not smell good, then it will not taste good. My question is…why have I never heard about Panama coffee? It really is the best coffee I have ever tasted. It has ruined me. I do not know how I will be able to drink Starbucks anymore. One of the main reasons we have not heard about Panamanian coffee is most likely the fact that they do not have the capacity to export their coffee. It is hand picked for quality and farmers are not able to produce at the level needed to support exporting to America. I will miss my morning coffee in Panama.

This was the highlight of my day and tomorrow we get to visit the Embera!


Haley Janae

Day 11!

Hello day 11!! Today was a day all about logistics, logistics, and more logistics. We visited a place called Parque Sur, which is a logistics park containing warehouses for different companies. Inside of Parque Sur, we met with CEVA logistics, as well as DHL.

Besides going to the mall for lunch, today was all about meeting with different logistic companies. First, we met with CEVA and then we met with DHL. Both companies are 3PLs (third party logistics). What I found interesting was that we got to hear each company’s perspective on the same competing service. The reason these parks are located in Panama is because of the access to different markets and the flexibility of moving goods. Panama has a very efficient supply chain management because of the canal. Not only do these companies have access to the canal, but they also have access to the Colon Free Zone. CEVA’s goals consist of having quality service, cost optimization, innovative solutions, continuous value improvement, and the ability to adapt to changes to gain valuable relationships. A representative for DHL made a comment that really stuck with me. He said “it is about dealing with the exceptions”. This one piece of advice goes so far. It is always about dealing with the exceptions…in business, in school, in life. DHL’s main company focus is to be the provider of choice, investment of choice and the employer of choice. Both companies also had corporate responsibility goals. Every company that we have visited has made sure to talk about their organizations CSR. This is a huge trend with the businesses in Panama. The reason for this is most likely the assumption that the consumer market is more attracted to businesses that are socially responsible. Everything revolves around the consumer. Without consumers, businesses would fail. Being socially responsible is a trend that we are seeing across the globe, not just in the U.S and not just in Panama. After both companies gave us their presentations, we toured their facility. Lots of shelves, lots of products, forklifts zooming by, trucks being loaded, and lots of communication. A very interesting sight to see. Sometimes it was hard for me to realize that I was looking at THE exact products that I would be seeing in stores all across the world. Absolutely amazing.

After a long day of logistics talk, I was finally able to crawl into my bed and get some sleep before the next early morning. Day 11 was done. I cannot wait for the meeting in the morning because my final project group gets to meet with the Co-founder of Don Vicente Coffee. How cool is that?! Our project is about exporting coffee to the U.S., so this visit will be very beneficial for us as a group and very beneficial for me as a coffee drinker! Until then….PEACE!


Haley Janae

Hummmmp DAY!

Guess what day it is? It’s HUMP DAY! Not only for the week, but for my study abroad trip. I actually cannot believe it is the halfway point already. This means that I only have a week and a half to finish making memories here in Panama. Although this saddens me, I am also kind of glad the week is almost over because it has been a busy week for sure. Today we got the privilege to meet with two companies, one global and one local company. P&G being the first meeting and Super 99, the second.

Today, we started with a meeting at P&G. For those of you who do not know, P&G own a lot of brands, such as Pantene, Oral B, Tide, Head and Shoulders, Gillette, etc. They own over 120 brands! On the walk up to the conference room where our meeting was held, I was already impressed. The building we were in a very nice, had modernized security features, nice elevators, and even a little coffee shop. Everywhere I go I try to get an empanada for comparison. So as we were waiting in the lobby, I bought myself a delicious empanada. Just by the look of a building and the atmosphere of the lobby when you walk in, you can get a sense of the culture of the company. Already, I knew that P&G meant business and made sure the people had a good environment to work in. Once in the meeting, we were able to talk to one of the marketing department specialists. One of the concepts she talked about were the company values: Consumers, people, and brand. Every decision they make in the company revolves around these three values. Something I was unaware of and maybe you too are unaware of is how the company started. You may find it interesting to know that it started out as a soap and candle company. The founders, Procter and Gamble, both realized they were after the same commodity: grease. They were smart to realize that they would both benefit from coming together to buy the grease they needed for their products. This is where it all began. Interesting, huh? Now the company has grown to 180 countries and serves 5 billion people. Basically, anything is possible.

After P&G, we made our way to the distribution center of a local supermarket called Super 99. A Super 99 store reminds me of something less equivalent than a Kroger from back home. Their offices were not near as elaborate as P&G. The room we met in barely even had enough room for our group. The man we spoke to is the brother of Panama’s past president, Martinelli. There is a lot of tension between Panama and the Martinelli family right now. The man we spoke to brought this up during the meeting and discussed how it has affected his business. Right now, they are number 1 in the field of business and the business is hoping to overcome all of the tension. It was interesting to see that as a company they were still doing very well even after everything happened with his brother as President. It is a family company and there are no stockholders to respond to. They originally started the business as a hardware store and it progressed into much more than that. Martinelli Sr. was insistent on the fact that everything is possible, you just cannot give up. His biggest barrier when trying to start the company was lack of funding. Once funding is received, the next step is to know how to work your business and work a little harder than your competition.  After we heard his secrets to success, we toured the distribution center. Every DC that we toured did not have any AC and we were all sweating like crazy. I never realized how blessed I am to have AC back home. It also made me wonder if that’s how it was in distributions centers in the U.S. In Panama, it is a social norm to not have AC, or at least that is what it seemed like. Every day I continued to see just how different the U.S. operated compared to Panama.

We ended the day with a visit to the biodiversity museum. This was one of the most colorful and unique buildings that I have ever seen in my life. There were a total of 8 exhibits, but only 5 were open. It is a brand new museum and is still being finished. My favorite exhibit was about how the architect designed the museum. It literally looked like scribbles on his first sketch and then progressed into an actual design. A lot of Panamanians actually do not like that look of the building at all, but we loved it. We spent the rest of our day touring the museum. By the time we finished, I was ready for a nap. These long days are exhausting me. I love every minute of it though!

Day 10 is done and the trip is on the downhill slope. See you tomorrow!


Haley Janae


Today was soooooo exciting! We started out with a visit to PanamCham, then went to the U.S. Embassy, and finally finished the day sitting in on a lecture given by our professor to a class at the Technological University of Panama. Each day I feel so lucky and am so thankful for being able to visit all of these businesses.

The first organization we met with was called PanamCham. PanamCham is an American Chamber of Commerce. This is basically an organization that brings together businesses. It is a great way to network and gain exposure for these companies. We learned a lot about what the PamamCham does for the organizations that are members and then we talked a lot about Panama’s economy…again. I should know about Panama’s economy by heart because we have gone over it in almost every lecture, but I do not. Maybe it will take one more lecture for me to comprehend the information. When learning about Panama, the man said that it is generally a safe place to do business, they are politically stable, using the U.S. dollar is advantageous for their country, they have high investment ratings, and so much more. Also, as I was sitting in at the conference table, I noticed one of the members of the PanamCham is a company that I know from back home. It really is a small world that is so globally integrated. It is an important concept to understand for the future of business and for the future of the world itself. We all rely on each other more than we think. The PanamCham was a great meeting that provided, yet another different perspective on the way the world does business.

After the PanaCham, we made our way to the U.S. Embassy! This was a first for me and boy was it an experience that I will never forget. First of all, the place was one of the most secure places I have ever been to in my life. It was a must to bring and check in with your passport and you were not allowed to bring any electronics (cell phones, cameras, etc.). We had to walk through security and then had to be escorted, 5 at a time, to our meeting. All of the doors were about a 12″ think and super heavy. Holy cow. I felt like a VIP. This meeting was very casual and discussion based. They had a powerpoint prepared for us, but it was the same Panama economy presentation that we have seen for the past 15 meetings. Instead, they opened the floor to us and answered any questions that we had for them. There were four of them sitting at a table in the front of the room, 2 females and 2 males. Then, there were the 14 of us, eager to ask questions. One of the advice points they mentioned, was to always look at the security of a country before doing business in that specific country. The U.S. Embassy has the knowledge of this information in every country. It is funny because their view on crime in Panama differs from the earlier meeting we had. The Embassy says that the crime rating is high in Panama. Don’t get too worried, it is only high because of petty crimes. After lots of discussion, I decided to ask about visits to this Embassy from Obama. Their answer surprised me very much. I had no idea just how long it takes to prepare for a presidential visit. The process started 9 months…9 MONTHS before Obama came here to visit. Not only that, but they had over 1,200 secret service/security arrive days before the president. Every route was pre-planned and walked by the secret service before the official visit. They walked the routes like 5 or 10 times to assure there were no obstacles that could potentially harm the president (I do not remember the number exactly). They briefly explained the steps taken for an unforeseen event and holy cow was it crazy!!! We were talking to the head of 4 different departments and some of which dealt with the DEA and FBI. It was such a cool and unforgettable experience, to say the least.

The day ended with the privilege of sitting in on a lecture given to students at the Technological University of Panama by our professor. It was cool to finally experience the lecture from this perspective. Usually we are the ones sitting in the classroom while the Panamanians professor lectures us, but this time, it was the other way around. Day 9 was done. Tomorrow we will have the opportunity to meet with the CEO of Super 99, a Panamanian supermarket. See you tomorrow!


Haley Janae

Stacks on Stacks

I made it through the Monday of week 2! I really cannot even believe we are already on week 2, but at the same time I feel like we have been here for a month. Last week was really chill and that is probably because we had our beach trip. However, this week is class all day everyday. Today, we focused mainly on banks. First, we visited the Banco Nacional clearing house, a few of their branches, and finished off with a presentation from MMG.

The Banco Nacional clearing house was a great start to the day because I did not realize how important their organization was for the operations of all the banks in Panama. You are probably wondering, “what is the clearing house”? Well, let me give you a brief overview. Basically, a bank has to be a registered member to use the clearing house OR a bank has to go through/be associated with a bank the is a member. The clearing house is the middle man for bank transactions: mainly checks in transit from one bank to another. For example, if there is a check being sent from one bank to another, the check has to stop at the clearing house to ensure that it is not fraudulent and that there is enough money to make the transfer. A picture is taken and saved for every single check that passes through the clearing house. It is an amazing process to comprehend. To give you some perspective, there are around 65,000 checks processed each day. We were told that it is extremely hard to get in the building if you do not work there, so it was a privilege to get a tour and lecture from the staff. Everything we did and said was being recorded from the second we entered the building. Talk about high security!

One of the questions we asked while at the clearing house was about how the use of mobile banking would affect the number of paper checks flowing through the clearing house. Surprisingly, mobile banking has not emerged in the Panamanian culture yet. In America, that is all I use to deposit my checks. It is convenient and quick. It is so interesting to see just how many opportunities there are here in Panama. It seems like America already has the “new” idea of yours, but here in Panama they do not have that idea yet and there is so much room for “new” ideas to prosper.

After touring the clearing house, we visited two more branches of Banco Nacional. The first branch we toured was the largest branch in Panama. Then we sat in on another lecture at the second branch that we visited. The staff at this branch made us some complimentary sandwiches, which I had a ton of and ended up not having to spend money on lunch for the day. Its always a good day when we get free lunch!

After all of our visits to Banco Nacional, we stopped for lunch. I was full from sandwiches so I just sat with the girls and chatted. All of a sudden, this 26-year old man came up to us and said “wow, you ladies are so beautiful…what are you guys doing HERE?!” Needless to say, we got a kick out of it. It was not the first time something like this has happened here. In fact, it happens daily. Cat calling is not unusual here.  After this eventful stop, we loaded up the bus and headed for MMG.

MMG stands for Morgan and Morgan Group. This is another bank in Panama…surprise, surprise. Fun fact: there are over 150 banks in Panama. MMG is a bank and also a law firm as well as a financial advising organization. Our meeting with MMG was on the 23rd floor of their building and the conference room we were sent to had the most amazing view of the Panama skyline. I felt like I was on top of the world…well kind of. After waiting a few minutes, the most handsome man in all of Panama entered the room and then I felt like I was on top of the world. He was one the employees that was giving us the presentation. Yes. Please. I think it was my favorite lecture so far. Besides the fact that the man was so perfectly beautiful, he was also a great speaker. He gave a very intriguing presentation about Panama’s economy and lectured a little about the law side of their organization.

After lots of banking talk and seeing the love of my life, day 8 was done. Tomorrow, we will visit PanamCham and the U.S. Embassy! Goodnight, sweet dreams and I will see you all tomorrow!


Haley Janae

Back to Reality

Day 7- The morning came quick as I woke up on the beach still in the hammock that I had fallen asleep in the night before. I never thought the weather would be just right to sleep on a hammock all night long, but in Panama, it was perfect. What an experience, am I right? And in the blink of an eye, our little weekend getaway was over. Back to reality it is.

This blog post will not be too exciting as our day mostly consisted of a 6 hour drive from the interior of Panama, back to Panama City. Lauren woke me up to see the sunrise on the beach, but it was way too cloudy so we were unable to see the sunrise. So we went for a beach run instead. And when I say ‘we’, I mean ‘she’. Shortly after, it was time to head back. We loaded up the bus and rolled out. Goodbye to no worries, the good views, and no wifi. You will be greatly missed by yours truly.

On the drive home, I had a solid 6 hours of observation time. One of the things I observed was the abundance of KFC’s in Panama. Seriously, I have never seen so many in my life. I have also never seen a KFC with a play-place until now. I have also noticed a focus on brand pictures rather than the brand names. For example, I see the KFC brand picture emphasized way more compared to the actual name of the restaurant. I also noticed how colorful everything is – buildings, advertisements, houses, etc. In the U.S., we use colors to stimulate the brain into thinking a certain way, but I feel like the use of bright colors is in Panama is just a social norm. Speaking of social norms..honking. There is so much honking during the day that it does not even surprise me anymore. It is just a normal thing, on the streets of Panama, for people to honk at you whenever and for whatever. Every day I see something different than what I am used to and that is what makes studying abroad such a fun experience.

I also must make note of the things I took for granted before my trip to Panama. This list is small, but as the trip goes on, more things will be brought to my attention that I take for granted in my everyday life.

1. Being able to throw my toilet paper in the toilet.

2. A.C.

3. Unlimited loads of laundry

4. A kitchen

5. My bed

6. Patient drivers

7. Living away from the city and rush hour traffic

Please feel free to comment below with any questions you may have regarding Panama so far! See you all tomorrow. Ciao.


Haley Janae

A Day Without WIFI!

Around noon, we made our way to the next resort, La Playita, which is also located in the interior of Panama in a city called Las Tablas. This is about 6 hours away from Panama City and only about 1.5 hours from the first resort. On the way to La Playita, we made a stop at the bus driver’s house so that he could say hello to his father. We all stayed on the bus while he jumped out for a couple minutes. At the beginning of our beach trip I made a remark about how before I left Panama I wanted to buy a popsicle from one of those little ice cream carts that a local is pushing down the street. Well, my opportunity came while the bus driver was saying hi to his family, so of course I jumped off of the bus to buy some ice cream! I ended up getting a fruit bar for only $0.50! Haha…. its the little things in life for me. Another first experience that I will never forget.



One bumpy dirt road later and we arrived to La Playita. Pulling in was interesting because I saw so many different kinds of animals. I almost thought we went to the zoo instead. There were emus (which I dislike very much), chickens, dogs, parrots, monkeys, and crabs. As soon as we got off of the bus, the girls and I rushed to our room. It was ADORABLE. The beds were made from log/wood bed frames, the shower was line with pretty pebbles, and the front door was like a bifold door (the kind where the top half of the door opens separately from the bottom half). Right outside of our room, there were two hammocks set up. Oh, and did I mention… NO WIFI! It was paradise. I could see the ocean from my room and the view was amazing. What better way to spend the weekend? I could not be more thankful for getting this experience.





We headed straight for the beach as soon as we set our bags in the room. We could not wait to take advantage of our time spent at this resort. A little ways out from the beach, there was an island that we all attempted to swim to. The ocean floor was full of unexpected rocks and made it so difficult to walk without possible injury. The majority of the group made it, but by the time they were coming back I was only halfway, so I just turned back around. I spent the rest of the time hanging out on the beach and talking with some locals. One of the girls I was talking to was 7 years old and had almost perfect English. She said that most of her classes in school were taught in English! I wish schools were like that in America so that we could become bilingual the way Panamanians do. It was interesting to see their perspective of what true “American” food was and the perspective of America in general.

After spending a lot of my time down at the beach, I decided to take a little hammock nap. It was lovely and I wanted to lay there forever. I eventually got up and went to explore the beach with Lauren. By this time, the sun had gone down and the moon was shining bright. We ended up finding a cabana with three hammocks, so we decided to camp out there for a while. As the night went on, so did our conversations. We learned a lot about each other tonight and it was a night that bonded our group together forever. At one point, we all just took a moment to look at the stars in the sky. You could see EVERY SINGLE star. They were breathtaking. It was a night of pure relaxation and wishing we did not have to come back to reality the next day.

La Playita is going to be one of the places that I hope to come back and visit with a family of my own. To stand in the same spot on the beach with kids of my own and just reminisce on all of the memories made today/tonight. Tomorrow, we drive back to reality. It almost feels like we are going back “home”. Adios for now!


Haley Janae

Let’s Go to the Beach, Beach!

Today was the first day that allowed us to actually sleep in! Yay, right? Hah…got em. Although we had the opportunity to sleep in, the sun rises so early in Panama that it makes it very difficult to “sleep in”. My roommate and I were up at 8am without any alarms. I actually love this about Panama. Maybe it is the season or maybe the sun just always rises early, whatever it is…it makes it soooo easy to wake up in the morning for class each day. I am so ever thankful for this because I honestly think I would oversleep otherwise. I feel like I get off topic easily….super sorry about that. Anyway, we woke up, got ready for the day…and when I say ready for the day; I mean I threw on my swimsuit and a big t-shirt. Boom. Ready for the day ahead of me! Then proceeded to get the breakfast provided by the resort. If you know anything about me, it’s that I get real excited for free prepared food. I like to try one of everything they offer to expand my pallet, so that’s just what I did. Some of the food was too interesting for me, but at least I can say I tried it!


After breakfast and around 11am, we headed for the beach! It was only a 40-minute drive to the secluded beach area where we spent the day chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool. There is not too much too say about this day because we literally chilled at this beach all day. I took a walk on the beach with Lauren, found some cool shells, and then laid out to get my tan on. Oh, and then Lauren and I salsa danced in the pool with the volleyball for an hour. It was a good time and a second “life is good” kind of a day.




We arrived back to the resort around 6pm and we were starving! The girls and I decided pizza was a must so we caught a cab and went to the closest pizza place. Al Capone’s Pizzeria. I did not have very high expectations for the place when I walked in, but I was so hungry that I did not even think twice about it. Between the four of us, we ordered a large pepperoni pizza and a medium Hawaiian pizza. The wait felt like forever…probably because I was starving. When the pizza finally came, it only took about 10 minutes for us the completely devour it. Let me just tell ya….this pizza was sooooooooo good. It was some of the best pizza I have ever had in my life. Like, I would come back to Panama just to visit this pizza place again. That might be stretching it, but you get the gist. 🙂

After another long and relaxing day, it was time to turn in. Everything I have experienced on this trip so far has made me incredibly thankful that I was able to come. It just feels like it doesn’t get any better than this. I am traveling, learning about a new culture, and earning credit towards a college degree. Tomorrow is another day to look forward to because we are packing up and heading to another resort. A beachfront resort! Not too sure what to expect, but I am super excited that it is on the beach. Ciao!


Haley Janae