Panama 2018 Day 14: “Experiencias Nuevas”

New experiences. I tell all of the Panamanians that their time with me is about new experiences, and they seem to like that way of framing things that move them outside their comfort zone.

I’ve been offering Gloria a massage at the hotel spa every year, and every year she says “desnuda?” and shrieks “no”. This year, she’s been having some severe aches and pains — tests for the really bad stuff like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis have proved negative. I think what she has sounds like fibromyalgia, which may or may not even be a diagnosis here. Yesterday, she said “yes” to a massage.

Afterward, she was positively giddy and said she felt liberated and as if she was floating on a cloud. 🙂 She wanted to know how much the massage cost, and I told her — which drew the response that she could feed her family for two weeks on that money. I countered that there is nothing particularly cloud-inducing about grocery shopping, which again evoked the giggles.

She couldn’t wait to get home and tell her husband about what she had done.

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