Spanish classes, graffiti quotes and intercultural classes. This has become my life the moment we stepped our cautious feet onto this foreign land. With a daring heart, we immersed ourselves into new culture, new language and new people. I didn't really expect anything of this trip and so I'm very happy with my experience in Panama so far.The amount of knowledge I've attained as well as the rich cultural experience I've experienced is amazing.
The moment we reached Panama City, I knew I would fall in love with this place. The culture and the people are so rich and different from the other places I've been to. There is color everywhere and the spirit of how much the people love their country is evident. Flags of Panama, graffiti paintings and songs all resonate how much Panama is loved. South America may be well known for a lot of bad things but we should take a closer look at how many people are trying to change that stereotypical idea, whether it be in a small way like writing inspirational quotes on the walls or in a big way like making neighborhoods safer for children to walk late at night by placing policemen patrolling the area and making sure nothing bad happens.
When I arrived in Panama, my goal was to learn as much as possible and after three days in Panama City, I already feel so connected to this place. The first thing we learned here was about intercultural communications and after traveling so much through out my life I felt like I knew it all but it turned out that I still had much to learn. Two days of that class really opened my mind in many aspects of the world~how to be sensitive to stereoptypes no matter how small, to empathize, how to compromise with cultural and personal values and how to accept that we are all different and that it's alright to be different. Leila was our teacher during our intercultural classes and towards the end, I decided I wanted to be like her. She had this vibe about her that told me she had been through a lot but she stayed strong and pushed through and the results were inevitable. She's now very happy with where she is in life and that's what I want as well~to be content with my life.
I would love to visit Panama City again when I get the chance. it's not only beautiful, it's also eye opening to those who pay attention to the details and keep an open mind. T.V shows and the media tend to focus on the negativity of most things and it sends a bad message out into the world. My advice is to go out and experience it first hand and judge it for yourself because once people already has a preconceived idea in they heads about anything, it becomes hard for them to change their minds. I'm looking forward to traveling more and immersing myself in all the cultures around the world. Panama City was a great kick start to the many more amazing journeys we'll have in the near future.
--Bamae Sohkhlet (Media Team One)