I wake up to the sound of the city and morning bird cackles. Breakfast is routinely served at 8 a.m. Eggs scrambled with ham, toast, a plate of fruit and coffee. We sit on the apartment veranda overlooking the city and in between the high rises, we can see the canal towers in the distance near the mountains. We walk about ten minutes down the hill to the school, take class for two hours, take a one hour break for lunch at one of the local restaurants and return for two more hours of class. Usually the first session is difficult with lessons in grammar and verb conjugation. The afternoon drifts into conversation and learning new words.
The school and apartment are both located in El Congrejo. The neighborhood has many restaurants: typical Panamanian, Cuban, Spanish, Venezuelan, Lebanese, Peruvian, Argentinian, Italian and Chinese. After school, we eat lunch, go for a walk or shopping, go home, study or nap, visit with our hostess. Go to dinner. Watch the Wheel of Fortune (La Roulette del Suerte) broadcast from Spain. The days go by, our heads spin with Spanish. Sometimes my brain feels like a ´57 Ford that hasn´t been started for awhile.