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“Panama Proved to be a Pleasant Surprise”

Page 2 of 4

by Sandra Snyder

Meredith Neizer, Vice President, Central America for The Martin-Brower Company, LLC, the primary supplier to McDonalds fast food restaurants. Meredith spoke to us recently in the offices of Panama Relocation Services about her recent international move.

“After making the decision to accept Martin-Brower’s offer to come to Panama, the most important issue for me was quality of life. I had lots of questions about the standard of living and security, especially as compared to other places. My number one concern was safety because I am a single, professional woman. I wanted to be sure I would find a safe place to live and work, but I also wanted to be able to move around comfortably within my own personal life. Panama has proved to be a pleasant surprise.” The look-see trip to Panama, with the help of Millie and Panama Relocation Services, showed me everything that the City and the Country had to offer. In four days, I had enough information to be confident that it would be a very good, safe place to live for my two-year assignment.”

We asked Meredith how many moves she had made in her career and were surprised at the number – 10! All but Panama and the Philippines were moves in the states and after so many moves she has a process for getting organized, settling in and finding the basics like where to get her hair done, dry cleaning, doctors, etc. However, moving to a foreign country with a different language, culture and new environment, present a whole new set of concerns. “Panama Relocations Services has continued to be a source of information. They have made it relatively easy to find those goods and services needed in every day life. In addition to providing information on places to go, things to see and to do, their introductions to people and clubs have made it easy to get integrated into the community."

Meredith, who calls the United States home, also has found that enough people speak English in Panama that the language barrier has not been as large a problem as she initially expected. One of the first things she did upon arrival was enroll in Spanish language classes.

In general, she says Panama continues to be a “nice surprise”. “ It is a pretty country with mountains, water, the canal, and in general just a pleasantly wonderful place to live.” Since coming here she has had some friends and family visit and they say the same thing – they are pleasantly surprised by a big bustling city and there are no sacrifices necessary to enjoying life. It is nothing like the Philippines, for example, her other overseas assignment. That move was made more difficult because the relocation service concept did not exist there. “I had to rely on a realtor and a few company employees and I didn’t get enough information ahead of time to really understand what to expect.”

Meredith points out that for the employee relocating, “assimilation into the work environment is easy, it is the other parts of relocating that are difficult and take time”. She credited the assistance of the relocation experts with easing this process and saving time, too. Just the little hints as to who to use, where not to go, where to find things, these are the quality of life issues, that she called “value added” for her and for families that are going to a new country. She personally found this move so much easier than that first international move – putting aside the problems with the US moving company, which failed to track her household goods. She was waiting for them in Panama and after four weeks, they hadn’t even left Houston! Had she had the benefit of a relocation company on that end, those problems might have been avoided as well. The good news is “in Panama she has a great apartment, landlord, the job is going great, she feels secure and happy.” She did mention the traffic…

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The International Book Fair 2009
Sandra will be available to autograph books and answer questions
August 19
through August 23, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Info

Gran Morrison will inaugurate Book Week with Panama Authors: Sandra Snyder, Rose Marie Tapia, Rafael Candanedo and Rosita Cordoba.
September 19, 2008, 4:00 p.m. at Gran Morrison El Dorado, El Dorado Mall.

Tuesday Morning Meeting
Sandra will share some of her experiences and provide some helpful hints for better living in Panama. Info
March 11, 2008

P.B.C. Person2Person
Sandra & David on the radio. Podcast
January, 2008

 

 

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