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Panama

topic posted Wed, November 12, 2003 - 1:35 PM by  D.
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Hello all. Have all of you been to Panama? When did you last visit? I have not looked it up, however, I would like to know if any of you, like myself, either live there or lived there? What do you remember the most about Panama?
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D.
offline D.
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  • Re: Panama

    11/14
    i was there in 1989/90. i was there for a few months and loved it there. i really loved the people and the food! :) the countryside was really nice. spent some time in rio hato and penoneme too.
    • D.
      D.
      offline 44

      Re: Panama

      11/24
      I am glad to hear that you loved it there, especially during that time. It was a difficult time for both the people living there, Panamanian and other nationalities, and the US and Panamanian government. That is the time that my family moved back the the states. ...and many of my friends who had lived there their entire lives.

      Are you heading back there any time soon?
      • Re: Panama

        11/26
        no, i have a lot of other destinations on the list of places i havent been yet. one of these days i will go back though. where was your family living when they moved back? in panama city? i have been to panama city, penoneme, rio hato and a few smaller towns
        • D.
          D.
          offline 44

          Re: Panama

          11/29
          Hello again. My family moved from Panama City to the Army base, Fort Clayton. Then they moved back in 1990 due to political unrest. I graduated from high school before that, and we had my graduation ceremony in an Airforce hanger. ...and my Prom was taken from the most beautiful building in Panama City and held in the recreation center on the Army base. Life in Panama in those days... ;) I will always love it though.
  • Re: Panama

    03/15
    I was in the U.S. Navy from 1970-74. I was stationed at the Naval Communications Station, Balboa, Panama Canal Zone from May 19, 1971 to Sep. 17, 1974, my entire enlistment. I lived in a place called Farfan which was on the main road to Howard A.F.B. Our place at Farfan had two barracks, a swkimming pool, our Receiver Station, an outside covered patio called a Bohio, and a baseball field, etc. I am going to post some photos in the photos section. When I lived in Panama there was still the old Canal Zone, which was U.S. Territory that ran for 5 miles on each side of the Canal from Pacific to the Caribbean side. The main Canal Zone town on the Pacific side was Balboa. Balboa was a beautiful little town with manicured lawns and well-kept housing that had wide roofs because of the frequent rains. There was Gorgas Hospital, Balboa High School, the Canal Zone Post Office, YMCA, the main commissary, and many other markets, government buildings, etc. Panama City was much less built up when I was there, only a few really tall buildings like the El Panama Hotel, which had a casino inside. The bridge now called the "Bridge of the Americas" was at that time called the Thatcher Ferry bridge, which was near to Fort Amador where I worked at the CommStation, also near Rodman Navy BaseI crossed it every day going to work and back home. Panama was like a little piece of heaven for us Sailors. We had our own barracks, mess, and even a small club on the first floor of the taller of the two barracks, and we had a big and beautiful pool that was all ours and the jungle nearby for exciting excursions and fun. We worked 5 days and were off for 3 days (80 hours) and when we were not at work we dressed as civilians and did whatever we wanted pretty much. We had two Panamanian cooks in our Galley (on the second floor of the taller barracks, see pictures), and we had family members of the cooks who for $5 every two weeks would wash our clothes, fold or iron them, shine our shoes, clean our rooms and change bed linens daily, clean the floors, wash the windows, etc. We didn't have to do anything except go to work or just run around Panama City and some of the other military bases such as Clayton Army Base, Albrook Air Force Base, the Marine Barracks, and we would often drive (in cars or motorcycles) 60 miles up the coast to a beach called Rio Mar where a stream ran into the Pacific Ocean, it was beautiful with black sand beaches. The Panamanians were great people and always very friendly and Panama City was a great place to explore. We rode a Navy ship through the Canal from the Pacific to Caribbean side, going through the various locks which were huge and very cool because the water used to raise and lower ships was not pumped with machines but was completely water pressure driven. There was a huge lake in the middle called Gatun lake. We got to the Atlantic side and rode the Panama Railway back home 55 miles away. There is so much else to say but need to end for now. I will get the photos in as soon as I can.

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