A Winter Wonderland, decked out with Christmas decorations? I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas (And am definitely, definitely not getting one) is more like it. It's certainly different to spend December in a hot, tropical climate, and even with Christmas carols on loop in my house, it just never felt the same.
Even though I may not have experienced the typical Christmas setting, my dad more than made up for it with a visit to Panama. Though we'll be spending most of his visit in my site, we decided to take a few days break and return to modern conveniences with a short trip to Boquete, Chiriqui.
Before leaving though, we had a little Christmas party for the kids in my village. The turnout was amazing- nearly 70 people! Though maybe I should have known since I was offering free food and gift bags…
With cool weather, hot showers, and bountiful coffee, Boquete was a welcome break for us. Though we briefly talked about going to a nice restaurant for Christmas dinner,
we I quickly realized there was no way I could ignore the beautiful kitchen appliances at our disposition. Thus, a home-made Christmas dinner was born.
My dad was surprised that I brought my little tree along, though I'm not sure why.
It's amazing how much more tranquil I am about travel when I know I'll be living in the country for at least another year and a half. Whereas Pre-Peace Corps me would have planned a full schedule of activities, restaurant visits, and photo ops, Dad and I took a calmer route and settled for a coffee tour and time to simply relax. It was a great way to spend the holiday, and we were even able to attend Christmas mass, a tradition I'm glad I didn't have to miss out on.