Layover is defined as a period of time when you are not traveling in the middle of a journey. I usually object to layovers because I prefer to quickly arrive at my destination. I have recently begun to see the benefits of having a layover while traveling. It allows you the opportunity to see multiple cities/countries in one trip. Can you believe that some airports offer free layover tours? After flying from Bogota, Colombia, I chose to layover in Panama City, Panama for 8 hours.
Panama’s official currency is known as the Balboa. One Balboa is equal to one US Dollar. While at the airport, I exchanged Colombian Pesos for US dollars.
As I completed my transaction, the young lady at the currency exchange counter complimented me on my hair. She told me that my afro was pretty and she was glad that I embraced my natural hair. She stated, “airport employers forced her to straighten her hair because is seen as more professional”. She became sad when her niece informed her that she disliked her kinky hair and wanted to straighten her hair. She is now dedicated to returning her own hair to its natural state, teaching her niece to embrace her own hair, and will be starting an online forum which teaches young girls to love the hair they are born with.
I didn’t realize that wearing my hair in its natural state sends a powerful message to women across the world. As women, our hair is seen as a crown of glory. It is time that we embrace our coils, curls, and kinkiness. Repeat after me. I LOVE MY HAIR!
I really wanted to explore the Embera Indian Village but was unable to do so. Instead I went on a quick city tour and stopped in the Historical District of Panama to see sites such as churches, Panama Canal, and Centennial Bridge.
After touring the city, I was picked up by Ali from Poopy Tours.
We traveled to the Curundu neighborhood for lunch. Peach Fuzz International was highly recommended by those who have visited Panama. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Danny, the owner of this awesome seafood establishment.
Tiffany: Where are you from?
Danny: I am Panamanian but grew up in the United States. In 2005, I officially decided to move back to Panama.
Tiffany: When did you learn to cook?
Danny: My grandfather worked outside of the home and my grandmother cared for the children. She often cooked for her children and grandchildren. At the age of 13, my grandmother decided that she was going to teach the boys in the family how to cook. Traditionally, women do all the cooking at family gatherings. In our family, the men cook and the women eat.
Tiffany: Why did you decide on this location?
Danny: Curundu was considered one of the worst neighborhood with shanty houses and no running water. It was so bad that even the police were afraid to come into the neighborhood due to the deadly crimes. The neighborhood has come along way, I absolutely feel safe here. The locals know me and can appreciate great seafood.
Tiffany: I love supporting Black business. Travelers who visit, say,” you can’t visit Panama without stopping by to taste Danny’s seafood”. The food was delicious. My favorite was the pantacones stuffed with shrimp and of course, the fish was fried to perfection.
Have you ever tried a layover? Did you stay at the airport or were you able to explore the city?