Lluvia Panameña

Living in the tropics is just as one would imagine: hot, steamy, moist, luscious, fresh, green, sticky, and humid.  There are two “seasons” here in Panama (if that’s what you want to call them) which are Dry Season and Rainy Season. The only real difference between these two seasons should be blatantly obvious: one is dry and the other is rainy.  Seriously, I should be a Meteorologist.

From December to May, the sun in Panama lays on thick; blue skies from 6am-6pm are painted with demonstrative clouds which only threaten to rain but never really do.  Dry Season is the perfect time to travel if you’re here for the beaches, or if you just want a seemingly endless string of balmy nights drinking on rooftops. People spill into the streets while dodging the sun which layers itself upon every surface – not in like a “dramatic, delirious, I-see-a-mirage desert scene” but more like a “the-shade-is-only-a-temporary-solution, I’m drenched in sweat and why am I wearing clothes?” situation.  Everyone is sweating (even people who were born here and are wearing jeans) because the humidity is 100% and sometimes there is nothing as glorious as standing directly in front of an electric fan with my dress bellowing up and out around me.

From May to December, the skies bulge until they burst and finally, a long awaited “dry” spell is broken.  Water literally comes from everywhere.  There is nothing like a tropical rainstorm, and I’ve really come to love them.  There is so much rain and so much sound and yet the heat is still ever-present.  A raincoat, although sometimes worn, seems almost counter productive because I am drenched with sweat underneath it anyway.  I may as well be barefoot because within minutes there is water washing by ankle-deep.  Giant, emerald leaves act as canopies and contentedly sway in the fierce, wet winds, un-phased by what feels like the makings of a hurricane.  But the rainy season brings with it a cleansing, liberating, renewal of fresh air, and just as quickly as these incredible storms begin, they quietly pass into the horizon, over the canal, and I’m left with nothing but birds clacking and chatting outside the open windows that I rarely close, the tick of a ceiling fan, and what a surprise, I’m still sweating…

Photos: Mesmerized : Looking to the Canal : Canal Docks : Plaza Francia : Harbor Horizon : Steamy Jungle : Greenery : Red Raincoat : Tantalo : Mi Paragua : Work As Usual : Blurry Windsheild













  6 comments for “Lluvia Panameña

  1. Jo Ridgway
    June 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Beautiful post Molly – your words and pictures are so atmospheric….I can almost feel the humidity and sweat (even though it’s bloody freezing in London!) xxx

    • Molly Berry
      June 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Aw Jo! Sending you a big, WARM hug from sweaty Panama on this special Saturday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY! So much love and many wonderful wishes for this year ahead. I’m determined to see you in October! xx

  2. June 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    There are two specific kinds of weather which I really,
    truly appreciate. The first is the beginning snowflakes of
    snowfall; obviously, this is a cliche holiday moment that I think
    pretty much everyone likes (at least for a few minutes). Even if
    you’re Jewish, you can’t help but feeling Christmas-y. However the
    second is a more authentic expression of appreciation and it’s only
    ever happened to me in Panama: it’s when the sky is blindingly
    sunny and there is a simultaneous torrential downpour. It usually
    only happens in the afternoons and I classify this weather “the
    weather of the tropics.” Playing in it can produce a Top 5 memory
    moment but it’s also not practical because then you’re all wet and
    can’t go back to work.

    • Molly Berry
      June 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      I know this phenomenon all too well and can smile in remembering one of my top 5s…swimming in that situation. I began to write about this incredible sun/downpour juxtaposition but fell short of the right words (somehow sounded way too much like I was describing Panama as “heaven”) So, thanks for adding in your “two cents” which, as always, is a lot more valuable than it’s monetary equivalent.
      And by the way, who cares if you go back to work wet as a wave, that’s what you’re your own boss for!

  3. June 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Molly, I seriously get lost in your writing and photos! Love this!

    • Molly Berry
      June 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Wow, what a huge compliment! Thank you Kristin! It makes me so happy to hear that.

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