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Monday, October 28, 2013

Attending a wedding in Panama

Hey everybody,

First, I just want to kickoff this post by announcing that finally, I'm ready to launch my brand new website. On November 1st, this Friday, I'll be launching Panama For Real. My wife and I will be hitting every town in this beautiful country, and bringing you very detailed reports, full of colorful photos and raw videos, telling you everything expats and Panamanians would need to know before visiting or planning a life in any province, town, or neighborhood in Panama. It's going to be awesome. 

I've been working 'round the clock to get this thing going and I'm so happy to finally be able to announce the launch date. I'll be mentioning it a lot in the next few days. For now, the site is still under construction, but I've been uploading the videos to Youtube and will open everything up to the public at midnight, 12am on Nov. 1st, at

Oh, also, it's all 100% free. I hate charging people for info they should be able to find free of charge. But traveling around Panama isn't free, so I will be looking for people to advertise in the sidebar and on my videos. So if you know of any companies that might be interested in advertising on Panama For Real, send them my way. Have them email me at my new email address, specifically for PFR (Panama For Real), at Thanks guys. Now, back to the post...

Paola and Cesario

This post is about attending a wedding in Panama. In most of my posts, I try to be helpful in some way, but every once in awhile I just have to share an experience. I remember when I first moved here. My wife always gave me a hard time because I didn't like to dance. Dancing just wasn't a big part of my family life growing up. If you want to disappoint a Panamanian woman, refuse to dance with her. Oh boy. At some point, probably after I'd had enough beer, I just went for it. 

Like a date night...just with everyone else in the family

Dancing took some getting used to. I've learned that the key is to just get up and do it. Do it before someone asks you to do it. When I go to a party or a shindig of any sort, if I sit long enough, and wait for people to talk me into dancing, I'll never get up. I have to go to that party with the intention of dancing and make sure I'm one of the first ones on the dance floor.  I'm not a great dancer, but I can rock back and forth with the best of them (no spinning or cool salsa moves from this guy...not yet). Now, after getting past that fear of dancing, I kind of look forward to big family gatherings where I know the drinks will be flowing and everyone will be having a great time. 

No, they didn't take the guns to the wedding

Of course my daughters were excited about the wedding because that meant they got to go dress shopping with mom. The boys stayed with their ol' dad and I picked them up some sweet little tuxedos. They easily stepped into their junior 007 roles. 

The wedding of my wife's cousin, Paola, and her new husband, Cesario, was very nice. I snuck the boys' Nintendo DS's into the church to keep them quiet through the ceremony. Horrible, I know...but it worked. See?

As much as I hate these things, the boys' games are life savers

My daughters were flower girls and, unlike the boys,  they didn't need electronic devices to keep them occupied. They were busy lip-synching the Ave Maria. 

Right before lip-synching the Ave Maria

The reception was held at the Sheraton in San Francisco, right next to the ATLAPA Convention Center. It was a blast. I've been to several family weddings and there's always a live band, but this was the first time I've seen so many shows. From tango dancers to folklore dancers to Irish dancers to some kind of circus clown troupe. I'm not kidding. 

Marlene with one of the clowns

One of the best things about a wedding is the chance to get the whole family together. It's been a long time since we've had everyone in the same room. Even at birthday parties it seems that someone is always missing, so it was nice to gather everyone together for this photo. 

The whole family together

The kids had a blast hanging out with their cousins. I had so much fun and danced all night. And I was reminded why I stick to beer. I'M NEVER DRINKING RUM AGAIN!

Panamanians know how to party!

Some of the best parties I've been to were wedding receptions. Someone should open a nightclub/disco with a wedding reception theme. Where every night people show up dressed to impress, pretending they're there for someone's big day. And maybe the entrance fee can be a wrapped wedding gift, that's given to charity later on. That's not a bad business idea.  Hmm...

Thanks for reading,