Panama: A New City, A Different Life

Marissa Ruxin is a student at University of California San Diego and an ISA Featured Blogger. Marissa is currently studying abroad in Panama City on a Fall 1 program.

In Panama there are only two seasons, wet and dry.  I’m spending time here during the wet season, which means there is about 90 percent humidity and it rains about every single day.  This extreme humidity makes it feel about 10 degrees hotter than it actually is.  It also gives one the feeling that he or she is trapped in a sauna, always wet from the precipitation in the air.

Another thing that struck me about Panama was the unique fruit and animals.  I feel like I am a fairly educated person that has traveled a bit and has a good knowledge about various things.  However I am bewildered by much of what I see here.  I have seen mamonchino, nances, and I tried lulo and guanabana juices.  I also am excited to see some animals that are common here including sloths, toucans and agoutis.

I have done some incredible things here already.  I took a city tour and saw the Panama Canal, which is truly remarkable.  I have also been to the local zoo where people were actually feeding and touching some of the animals such as the monkeys, even though this is not allowed.  I also went to a beautiful black sand beach with my host family, where the water is the perfect temperature and soft waves hit the sand.

I have only been here a week but I already love Panama and hope to come back some day. People have been friendly and welcoming and the land has a beauty that no other place I have seen compares to.  The greenery and exotic plants and animals I think will always amaze me. If you are not sure where to take your next vacation I highly recommend you come to Panama and see if this place is all that I described it as.

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