Panama: Panama Canal

Submitted by Melissa Lewis on the 2020 winter session study abroad program in Panama sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures…

This week I had a lot of opportunity to relax and talk. At the beginning of the week, I met a student named David and he studies at the Technological University. After that conversation with him, I found the music room at the university and had the opportunity to play the piano and talk to other students who were practicing at the University as well. Other people I met this week were Jaime and his mother. They are from the United States and are visiting their grandfather who lives in Panama. I went to the salsa night in Silena in Casco Viejo! I had the opportunity to practice my salsa. Over the weekend, I went to the Panama Canal with the other students and I have seen a lot. The best part for me was when I was in the museum and I read a lot about the construction and history of the Canal. There were many Spanish speakers there, too and I talked to many people. Finally, I had the opportunity to go to church and I was very excited because that is what I wanted to do in Panama. All the people were very kind, thank God.

In the Villages, I learned more about how to connect with children. I loved that some of the children remembered the songs I’ve written and they like to sing. In addition, the students like to jump rope and they only want people to play with them. It’s a little difficult to do things with them because I only have a little time with them.  The children listen to me more now than in the beginning. I don’t know how I am going to leave them, but I know that they are going to have a very special place in my heart. The children are very intelligent and funny. I love that all the time they shout my name and hug me.