I have had the honor and the pleasure to live in this beautiful tropical paradise for over thirty years. I have witnessed the transformation of this tiny little isthmus from a dictator ruled military state to a thriving, peace loving, democratic republic. I was here for the death of Omar Torrijos, lived through the Noriega regime, survived the financial crisis of the 80’s and was present during the U.S. invasion in 1989. I have watched this little country stretch and grow. I have felt its growing pains, benefited from its progress, marveled at its resistance and capacity to remain firm and steadfast in the midst of both prosperity and adversity. Although I miss my native Mississippi at times and I always enjoy a visit to the folks back in the States, Panama is home.