top of page

H&H Week 3: Down in Panama.

This is the third Humans&Harmonies (H&H) blog post. Every Friday, another H&H blog post will be released. Each post will have an associated song that you can watch and listen to via YouTube. The songs are written from a perspective other than my own. This week the song is written from the perspective of Bob Jansen, a man who is both spontaneous and reflective. He currently resides in Panama. Click HERE to listen to this week's song called "Down in Panama."

The lyrics to "Down in Panama." are at the bottom of this page for reference.

“I was walking to work and I just decided I didn’t want to go in — so I went in there and gave them my two-week notice and then I got on a plane to Europe. That was a period of growth for me. I had to ask ‘why am I here?’ and ‘what am I running from?’ I never really found those answers, but I grew so much by just asking the questions.”

Bob enjoying a lil' surfing in Panama

That’s the kind of spontaneity and reflection Bob is known for. He’ll just get up and go somewhere, and then later try to understand the reasons why he did it. But his European escapade wasn’t the only impromptu journey he’d embark on. Bob now lives and works in Panama, serving as a guidance counselor for a Jewish high school near the canal.

Many kids have social anxiety in high school, and Bob believes his nonchalant attitude toward life helps them relax. He told me, “the world weighs so heavily on them and for me, I just let the world roll off my shoulders. I am able to make stupid dad jokes and demonstrate humility. I can stand here and look like a fool, but it doesn’t bother me, and for them to see that — it’s a good model for them.”

But why Panama?

Being able to laugh at yourself is the key to Bob's relaxed take on life

“I wanted to learn Spanish… like really be able to speak the language and understand the culture. Once I saw this job opportunity, I wasn’t gonna worry if this was the perfect fit or not, I knew I was just gonna go for it.”

Perhaps Bob gets his drive to be different from his Uncle Dan. Dan won a gold medal for speed skating in the 1994 Olympics in Norway. “I had less confidence as a kid, and Uncle Dan always gave me something to look up to. But when I grew older, especially in college, I gained a lot of it for myself.”

His mother has always been concerned that these extended foreign experiences would loosen Bob’s sense of “home.” But Bob thinks otherwise. “This is where I am rooted” he assured me.

So his laid-back persona will eventually lead him back home where his friends and family can enjoy it. But until then, Bob will be strummin’ on his guitar in Panama, playing songs like this one.


never really talked too much

never had all that confidence

they say you’ve got to have

grew a little older day by day

soon i began to find my way

i found out how to laugh…

…at myself

and all the goofy things i do

chill out kids

life’s not all about you

so i rode my soul to panama

floated my way against the tide

and i don’t know what i’m runnin’ from

at least i got this stress-free kind of life

oh down in panama

thinking ’bout uncle dan and stuff

oh, and don't worry

about the goofy things i do

chill out girl

life’s not all about you

and so i rode my soul to panama

floated my way against the tide

i don’t know what i’m runnin’ from

at least i got this stress free kind of life

oh down in panama

thinking 'bout uncle dan and stuff


oh down in panama

Bob playing guitar and singing underwater!

#cannoncooley #memorybox #downinpanama #HandH #singersongwriter #originalsong

315 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page