One thing about living in a community made up of mostly ex-pats is that is very transitional, a revolving door. There are always new people to welcome, and there is always someone moving on. We have made amazing friends since living here, and we’ve had to say some sad good-byes. We accept that there are friendships that are only meant for this special time and place. We also have made friendships that will endure separation of distance and time. However, this weekend, we said our toughest good-bye yet.
The Ehrenreich’s, Mark, Kyla and their daughter, Sunny have been our friends for 17 years. We have been close with them since before we got married and had kids, so we have been there for each other through many life changes. We had our first Panama adventure together in 2006 when we took at 5 week road trip through Panama. When they heard that we were returning here to live, they surprised us by saying that they would like to join us! Their original plan was only to come for a year. However, they loved it so much, they kept extended their stay until they had stayed here for two whole years. They extended so many times, we got the false hope that they would just stay forever.
Throughout these two years together, we really discovered what it meant to co-parent and live in community. We expected to have many adventures together, but we could have never predicted enduring a global pandemic and months long quarantine together. Whenever we struggled in our marriage, with our kids, or with life in general, these are the people who stepped up to support us whether that looked like cooking dinner for us, taking us for long therapeutic hikes, having our kids sleep over, and many other kindnesses. It’s hard to imagine what life is going to look like without them here. Our kids have grown up together and act like siblings. I will miss our beach boot-camps, our rummikub, our weekend vacations, our baby-sitting trades, our pool and dinner parties, our hikes, and sooooo much more.
We stretched out their good-bye over their last week. First, our “bubble” rented out Hotel Cambutal for one last big weekend shin dig together. The kids had a blast building forts on the beach. The men enjoyed surfing in one of their favorite spots, and the women laughed over their girl talk by the pool. During the week, we watched Mark and his band perform a last concert at Smiley’s. And finally, just our two families had one last good-bye dinner in which we laughed, cried, and made promises to visit.
We know this isn’t good-bye as we have always been close, and we will always be close. However, not having them in walking distance is a tough pill to swallow. What a full two years it has been. We have lived, loved, and laughed hard. So much adventure, so much togetherness, so much shared. How blessed we are.
The Three Amigos
Rocking out at Smiley’s
All the kiddos in Cambutal.
Our last good-bye! Hopefully we are back together again soon!