Quality Education in the Benedictine Tradition.


Bearcats on the Road

Thanksgiving in Panama

Posted by Abby Bryant on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 03:18 PM

This year Thanksgiving came with a different feeling for me. Since moving to Panama nearly six months ago, so many of my previous thoughts and beliefs have been challenged, and my eyes have been opened tremendously. 

Dawn in Panama

I’ve always been aware that I was blessed to have what I did: a healthy family, wonderful friends, and nice material possessions. However, until this year I never would have thought to give thanks for the simpler things in life- a bed, access to an education, medical care, ease of communication, and just to have been born in a nation where many of these things are simply a given.

In the past six months my “normal” has shifted. In my town there is no electricity, no internet, no health care center, and no high school. There is no variety in available foods, and there are many times when the only thing people have to eat are the bananas they grow on their farm. I can’t call my parents whenever I want, I don’t have a bathroom, and I have no bed.

Bananas in Panama

While it’s certainly tough to wake up to this new normal everyday, it has also given me a much broader perspective, of which I am so thankful for. 

The Mountains of Panama

This year I’m still thankful for my family, friends, and the support they are constantly giving me. But I’m also thankful for all of those little things- a few moments of signal to call home, an air mattress so that I don’t have to sleep on the floor, and community members who invite me into their house and don’t hesitate to share what little they have.

Agriculture in Panama

Topics: Thanksgiving, Peace Corps, Panama, Abby Bryant

About this Blog

In Bearcats on the Road, students chronicle their lives while studying abroad or completing internships away from campus.

Michael Orange


How can you study abroad?

Study abroad learn how


Join the Community

Subscribe to this Blog

Schedule a Visit

Request Information

Apply Now to become a bearcat

Latest Posts


Paige Casario

Paige Casario is a junior International Business major with minors in Spanish and Operational Excellence. She is studying Business and Spanish and living with a host family in Sevilla, Spain, for the spring semester. She is very excited for this opportunity and experience and can't wait to venture all over Spain and Europe.

Nicole Reitz

Hi! My name is Nicole Reitz and I’m a junior psychology major at SVC. This spring, I’m studying at Edge Hill University in England.

Gianna Boburka

Hi! My name is Gianna Boburka. I am an international business major with minors in operational excellence and entrepreneurship. I will be studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece, this summer for five weeks. In addition to taking two classes abroad, I will be exploring many different sites around Greece.

Theresa Thimons








Theresa Thimons is a sophomore majoring in mathematics. She is the proud little sister to nine siblings and aunt to seventeen nieces and nephews. Theresa believes that each encounter she has with another human is an opportunity to better understand the heart of Jesus, as every person is the result of God’s love. In whatever career path she ends up taking, she looks forward to solving problems and hopefully inspiring more people to explore the world of fun that is found in math.

Sam Geer







My name is Sam Geer. I’m from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, and I’m a junior at Saint Vincent. I’m getting my major in Environmental Science and minoring in Public Administration. I’m a work study at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve and am a member of the Benedictine Leadership Studies Program. This summer, I'll be traveling to Bhutan in the Himalayas of Central Asia, home of the bearcat, where I’ll be studying environmental sustainability and Bhutanese culture. 

Gabrielle Kohl












Hi! Im Gabrielle Kohl, an avid reader who loves to travel around the world! I love to experience new culture, literature, people and food. I aim to make a positive impact in the lives of people with whom I interact in order to make the world a happier place.

Nicole Berry











Hi! My name is Nicole Berry and I am currently a junior studying communication and psychology. I also am minoring in children studies. I am a commuter and currently live in Delmont, PA. I am hoping to graduate in May 2017 and go on to graduate school for my Masters in Social Work and Juris Doctorate.

Anastasia Jaeger








Anastasia Jaeger is a junior English education major with a minor in German and a minor in peace and justice. She has always dreamed of being able to travel around the world and is thankful that Saint Vincent College has these opportunities available to students. When she is not at college, she is likely working her part-time job at a local bakery. In the future, she hopes to travel more and do humanitarian work or teach high school students English.