Buenos Dias!

Good morning. Happy Monday. What’s going on with you all? I don’t read the news much because so little of it is good, but I have a general idea. So many of you are dealing with more virus surges, along with everything else mother nature throws at us and whatever else we do to each other.

Here in Panama thing are changing as they open up more and more of the economy, but other things are not changing, thank goodness. Our virus numbers (knock on wood!) are staying pretty steady. There continue to be strict requirements of businesses and individuals to avoid spreading the virus. Thousands of tests are done every day, and teams go house to house for contact tracing. Hotels are available for those who aren’t sick enough to go to the hospital but need to be separated from others. Care packages are given to people in homes (medicines, vitamins, food, thermometers, etc.) and there is follow up to be sure they have what they need so they don’t go out while quarantined, and to monitor their recovery. Hospital censuses are staying stable, and mortality rates continue to be considerably less than world averages. It’s difficult for everyone, and terribly difficult for many who haven’t been able to earn money but things seem to be working, and people are generally very cooperative.

The borders and airport have opened, but there is only a fraction of the usual flights coming and going. But, it’s a start and it’s going well. People arriving need to have a negative COVID within the last 48 hours, or they will be given a rapid test on arrival (word is it takes about 30 minutes and costs $50). If you test positive you will be quarantined in a hotel for 7 days (paid for by the government). If a second test in 7 days is also positive you will be quarantined for another 7 days. Otherwise you are free to go.

Curfew has been changed from 7pm to 11pm, and now includes weekends (we had been restricted to home all weekend. Yesterday was the first Sunday in many months that people have been allowed out, and the first time in many months that I have been out at all for something other than exercise and necessities. I went with my friends to help them tend their land and fruit trees a bit north of Dolega and it was a beautiful and wonderful day!

But, except for the above we have been home all the time, and the internet has been our main source of information. One great source is Bob Adams, who has been here for years and makes it his business to know what’s going on in the country. Check out his YouTube channel at this link for info on the current situation and a multitude of other subjects. https://www.youtube.com/user/globalist426 ..

It’s interesting… an aside here…. it’s interesting how much people here follow what’s going on in the USA. For the last few weeks, every single person who I’ve had a conversation with has brought up the subject. They are very polite and gently find out my views before saying anything for or against, but once they feel free to share their feelings they let me know that they are very worried about the virus and other issues in the USA, and they are watching the upcoming election closely. I don’t want to start any discussions on politics here, but I have to say I’m very tired of explaining that I cannot explain what’s going on in my home country.

So, that’s about all I have to report at the moment. We continue to be thankful every single day that we are here for a multitude of reasons. I miss my family terribly and look forward to the day when we can be together again, but I know this is best for everyone at this time.

Meanwhile, we live in an absolutely gorgeous place! Here’s a few from my day yesterday.

You all take care of yourselves and each other. I know we are all so tired of all this, but we still have to deal with it so be kind to each other, and help those who are having a hard time. And, remember especially to take care of yourself!

Posted in Panama | 4 Comments

Eight Years in Panama

Today, eight years ago, I arrived in Panama. Has it been good? Oh yes! It has worked out better than I ever imagined it would.

I don’t have that feeling that I’m in a *gasp*… foreign country any more. I know my way around, I know how most things are done, and I have warm relationships with many people here. The language has been the biggest challenge but I can finally understand most of what is said to me, and I can say what I want to say most of the time.

But, there is still always something new and that keeps life endlessly interesting. There are the people, their lives, culture, humor, their ways of thinking. There’s new food, plants, birds, bugs, and new places to explore. And, there are also my non Panama specific interests – learning to play bass, books to read, things to study, biking, blogging, painting, photography, and other interests that I never have enough time to do. I’ve often been asked – now that you are retired, what will you DO all day?? Ha! Not a problem.

I’ve come to look at getting older as a huge blessing. If you are healthy and financially OK, you can be free! You don’t have to work. You don’t have to answer to anybody. You have to do very little that you don’t want to do. Your time is your own. You can sit in the yard all day and watch the birds fly by, or you can study nuclear physics. It doesn’t matter if what you do brings in money. You can do what you like just because you want to do it.

It’s been very interesting to see my home country through the eyes of others. How could some little country in Central America compete with the USA, the best and most powerful country in the world (or so we are raised to believe)? But, what is “best”? The priority here is family, friends, and enjoying life. People work, often for long hours for little pay, but they don’t seem as stressed, as pressured by the “time is money” mentality. Everyone has a hammock and there is no shame in using it, or in just hanging out with family and friends. Those studies that determine that happiest countries in the world, that list is always topped by many Latin countries.

I feel so much kindness, inclusion, respect, and friendliness here. I’m very different in many ways, but the people have welcomed me as one of their own without judgement. I don’t worry about having enough to pay the bills, or worry about affordable, good quality, rapid health care if I need it. I don’t worry about natural disasters. I don’t worry about needing help and not getting it. I don’t worry about loneliness among these friendly people. Even in the middle of this pandemic, I don’t feel like I have much of anything to worry about.

People sometimes ask if I will return to the USA to live at some point. No, not by my choice. Give all this up? for life there and all the stresses that go with that? Are you kidding? No. I think not. We wake up every single morning giving thanks for this life here.

Posted in Panama | 16 Comments

Expat Life in the Internet Age

We are very fortunate to have so much technology at our disposal. I know it can be misused and make you crazy sometimes, but overall it’s really useful. I just discovered on line library features, which got me to thinking about all the things we do on the internet.

Many of us leave important family and friend relationships when we move. For me, internet access was a “must have”. I wasn’t living close to my kids before so that wasn’t a big adjustment, and I actually saw more of them on video chats than I had when we only used phone calls. Now that I have grandkids and can’t visit because of COVID, these video chats are more important than ever. We also have a Facebook messenger family group that we use every day. It’s amazing that you can communicate with anyone, anywhere, instantly, any time you wish.

Internet shopping is another thing. Yes, you can still shop and get things sent here, but it will take longer, cost more, and involve a mailing service if you don’t want to keep going to the post office to see if your package has finally arrived. Gone are the days when you click and expect your package at your door in a couple days, or even a few hours! But this makes you think more seriously about what you buy. Do you really need it? Can you get by without it, or with something available locally? We tried to downsize our life when we came here so for us, this has been a good thing.

Maps and navigation have been a huge help. When we first arrived paper maps were the thing for finding your way around. What a pain! Our first visit was to Panama City and I don’t think we ever, not even once, found our way somewhere without getting lost. The city is confusing! Then, we discovered WAZE which was a huge help. Now google maps works also, and we’re so spoiled by the “map lady” that I never want to go without her, even if I’m only going downtown.

Google translate is also permanently running in my browser and installed in my phone. There is always a new word, something I don’t understand, or something I don’t know how to say. I carried a dictionary for literally years, but now that I’m able to explain my way around most needs, google translate is my go to thing.

We also have information from around the world at our fingertips. My banana has a flower. How long until we should harvest the fruit? What is this snake? Is it dangerous? And news! We can access news sources from anywhere in the world. With the fires in my daughter’s CA city, I log on to her local newspaper 2-3 times/day to see what’s happening (she’s OK, thank goodness, but life is still far from normal)

Groups and forums – Facebook has become the place for so much. There are groups for expats in Panama, for expats in David, Boquete, or whatever location interests you, where you can ask questions of people living there. There are also other websites with similar forums, and other forums on any subject you can imagine can be found out there somewhere.

Panama seems to run on WhatsApp, and groups are also possible there. I’m in a group for our neighborhood. There are prayers, jokes, stories, and news. Is your power out too, and did anyone report it? Or, someone has a question, or needs help with something. If you visit here and nobody knows who you are, a question will probably go to the group to find out if you belong here!

And of course, there are many other things we do on the internet. We can email lawyers, banks, pretty much anyone with a click. You can see movies, videos, museum tours, and a multitude of other things. Now, especially in this time of COVID, many people are working on line and kids are going to school on line. It’s hard to imagine life without the internet!

And, my most recent discovery, libraries!! You can get a library card on line with the Broward County Library (Miami area), and with that you can access countless eBooks, audio books, and movies, all for free! It’s fantastic! I’ve been a huge fan of audible.com for many years, but I’ll be spending less now that I have access to libraries. I find the library movie sections much easier than Netflix to explore and we’ve been watching some great movies. Thank you, Facebook friends, who introduced me to on line libraries!

How is the internet in Panama? That depends a lot on where you are. Internet probably isn’t 100% anywhere but here in David we’ve found it very adequate. It stutters occasionally, especially at high traffic times, but it rarely goes out. We are able to stream movies and do everything we need. We have a mid price plan for about $38/Mo and I think we pay for 7mg, but a speed test just said we’re getting 14+mg at the moment (It’s Sunday morning, 9am right now)

People in more rural areas may have slower internet, and/or need to pay a lot more for it. If you are moving here and internet is important, always ask about the internet in the location and the home you are considering. Things may be different from one block to another depending on equipment and where they have run cables.

We have become so dependent on the internet, and it has become a part of our lives in so many ways! It’s almost hard to imagine life without it. Just think though, what was it like for people in the past? People took off across oceans, never to see their families and friends again, and they were lucky if a ship brought them a letter that had been written months before. Or, what would it be like to watch your kids leave, never to see them again, and maybe not even know if you had grandkids? No… no no. We are SO fortunate! We can talk with our loved ones as much as we want, and video isn’t exactly like being there but it’s pretty close. We have so much to be thankful for.

Posted in Panama | 6 Comments

Living with Mother Nature

There are many things I love about Panama, and right up there is the minimal suffering inflicted on us by mother nature. I puts your head in such a calmer place.

I grew up with New York blizzards that can bring a whole city to a standstill. I didn’t like the miserable cold then and I like it even less now.

I have lived in the Midwest. All spring, the tornado warning symbol is in the corner of your TV screen. You always need to know where you could go in a hurry if a tornado approaches. They come with minimal to no warning and they can be incredibly devastating. There are also blizzards and bitter cold spells in winter, and blistering heat in the summer. I learned to drive in the snow and icy road conditions, no fun.

I lived in Florida. June through December is hurricane season so you spend these months watching and wondering where and how badly the next one will hit. I’ve seen many pictures of what a hurricane can do, but seeing the reality in person is quite another thing.

And now, we have all been worried about my California (Santa Rosa) daughter and her family. They fled the fires in the middle of the night while flames came down the hill in front of them like rivers. They are very fortunate that they are all fine, their house and neighborhood are also ok, and they are some of the few who have been allowed back to their homes. Many are still evacuated, and many have lost homes and business. Thankfully at this point, there are no reported deaths in her area but many fires are still burning and uncontained. Winds are predicted to shift again today and it’s going to be 101F degrees.  And, all this is going on in the middle of a pandemic.

Here we sit in Panama…. Is it going to rain? Wow that was a lot of rain yesterday.  The sun is hot. It’s cloudy and cooler today. That pretty much covers all the weather related topics. Below 70F is very unusual. We’ve never seen 101F either and we’re in hot David. We don’t get tornadoes or hurricanes. We get crazy amounts of rain sometimes so flooding is possible but people generally know to respect potential flood areas. I don’t think I’ve heard anything about mud slides here, except maybe along the Panama Canal where dredges are in constant operation anyway. So the extent of our weather related concerns are rain and sun.

Every day we hear about the problems in the USA and other parts of the world. Every day we give thanks for our good fortune here. You learn to live with the treats of natural disasters, but you don’t fully realize the relief of no threats until you’ve experienced it. Thank you Panama.

There’s a pandemic, It’s fire season in the west, and hurricane season in the east. We must take care of our earth. Climate change is only making natural disasters stronger and more frequent. Please take care of yourselves and each other. Please be safe out there.

 

Posted in Panama | 12 Comments

Nothing to Say

I just realized it’s been about three weeks since I’ve written anything. There just hasn’t been much to say. But, there is news and progress towards returning the country and the economy to a more normal status so that’s definitely something.

Bob Adams is a good person to follow. He posts useful videos on his YouTube channel on various topics and of course lately, the topics on everyone’s mind are COVID and the economy. https://www.youtuSept 7be.com/user/globalist426

There are also frequent news updates on the health department website. One of the more interesting ones was published on August 26  https://www.yomeinformopma.org/info_detail/185  It presents a schedule for moving forward – Sept 7, restart construction and various retail and commercial businesses, Sept 14th, loosen the mobility restrictions, Sept 21 – sports, but without the public, and Oct 12, the majority of other businesses and activities will reopen and resume.

The country is looking at a RT or transmission rate less than 1%, (meaning that one infected person infects less than one other person), a death rate of less than 3%, the availability of hospital beds over 20%, and the availability of ICU beds over 15%. If numbers start to exceed these thresholds I think we can expect opening to stop or reverse, so wish us luck! But, the country is doing more and more testing and has gotten super serious about contact tracing, and all the health related precautions and restrictions will continue, so maybe we’ll do OK. The next month or two will tell.

The Oct 12 openings include international flights into the country, but with restrictions. They are saying you must present a negative COVID test that is no more than 48 hours old and I just read that if you don’t have one, they will test you (at your expense) on arrival. If you test positive you will be sent to a quarantine hotel or hospital for 14 days. If another test in 7 days is negative you can go free. Otherwise you complete the 14 days. Things change as new plans are published or things are clarified so if you are traveling, please do not take my word for anything! Do your own research and keep up with the news.

I’ve noticed more activity around town in the last couple weeks. We’ve only gone biking and done a few errands nearby, but it seems like there is more traffic, more people out, and construction workers are back on jobs that were stalled. Everyone continues to wear masks. It looks normal to me now and I’d feel naked without mine. You walk through an alcohol cleaning box upon entering any store or establishment, and you get your temperature taken and a generous squirt of alcohol or gel for your hands. We’ve had so much practice with social distancing that it almost doesn’t take any thought now.

Of course people are impatient and frustrated. We have been restricted for months and there have been many many people out of work all this time. Besides the critical needs of food and shelter, people have been separated from family and friends. Kids are all doing school on line which is hard for them, the teachers, and the parents, and more challenging here since internet isn’t ubiquitous. We (and the whole world) continue to live with uncertainty. Who will get sick? When will things return to “normal” and what will that look like? All too often, we seem to take a step forward and then step right back again which is discouraging. But, overall I see very little complaining here. People carry on, help each other wherever they can, and seem to realize that whether we agree or not, this is the reality we are living with and the authorities are doing what they can in a situation that is new and unknown for everyone.

For us, things haven’t really changed. We wake up every day and give thanks that we have everything we need and want. Our area has had more cases than others so we continue to be locked down on the weekends, but since we don’t want to go out anyway it’s not a problem for us personally. During the week try to bike for exercise at least every couple days, and do the few errands we have by bike when it’s possible. I do notice the lack of physical contact though. Some musician friends and others are making tamales and other goodies to earn money. They stop by with deliveries but greetings are elbow bumps at best, and smiles are hidden by masks. Conversations with friends and neighbors are at a distance, and there is no kissing on the cheek in greeting like I’d gotten used to pre-COVID. I notice there isn’t all the chatting while waiting in lines like there used to be. Will the general feel return to the very friendly Panamanian way of life at some point?

But, other things haven’t changed at all. The birds still sing, and the bugs still visit. It’s rainy season now. I woke up to a very cool, still, overcast morning but before long the sun came out and the rest of the morning was just gorgeous. Then, as afternoon wore on, I started hearing thunder in the distance. Sure enough, the thunder and the rain arrived and we had, or are still having a heck of a downpour! This doesn’t happen every day but there are days when the thunder shakes the house and an incredible amount of rain falls from the sky. It’s a great time to be in a comfortable, dry house and enjoy the sound of the rain outside.

Well… I had nothing to say… so 900+ words later I think I’m finished saying it. HA!

Please, take care of yourselves and each other out there. Kindness is more important than ever.

Posted in Panama | 4 Comments

A bit of Kindness and Understanding

<rant>   I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while. I know I’ve said that opinions aren’t changed based on something posted on Facebook, and I imagine it’s the same for any blog post I write. But I’ll get some thoughts out of my head and off my chest anyway.

I spend very little time on social media because I’m so tired of what I see there, and I’m not sure if the news sources and other available information are much better. We are terribly divided and it seems like so many people only want to bolster their side and destroy the other side with insults and put downs.

What do we hope to accomplish? What is the way forward? (yeah I know, if they would just think like us and then everything would be hunky dory!) Seriously though, we have a lot of big challenges (I’m thinking mainly about the USA, the whole world is having a hard time). Are we going to accomplish anything productive by insulting and demeaning everyone who thinks differently? I’ve been insulted and called names by people on the other side, and now the last thing I want to do is ever have anything to do with them again, let alone try to work with them. Name calling and lack of respect shuts down any hope of communication and moving forward.

I know… I know… I have a hard time understanding the other side too. How can they see things so differently? Why do they think and behave the way they do? It feels like we are living in different worlds. But, they have their reasons that make sense to them. Until we make an attempt to understand and find even a tiny bit common ground we are never going to get anywhere.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading and thinking. The reasons we feel the way we do can run very deep, and changing our beliefs is often changing the very identity we hold dear. Holding up facts and well thought out arguments doesn’t work. Our identity and core beliefs are more important, and we all know that “facts” and “truths” aren’t absolute. Would you change your beliefs become someone brings opposing facts to your attention, and is better at debating their point of view?

But, if we can just listen,  make a safe space where someone on the other side can say how they feel and what they think, maybe we can understand a little of it. We don’t have to agree and we’re as unlikely to change our views as they are. But, maybe there is a grain of hope, of a little bit of common ground that can be a tiny start.

There are couple books that immediately come to mind.

Rising out of Hatred, the Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, by Eli Saslow.  This guy was raised in a white nationalist household. It wasn’t until we went to college and met some of the people he had been taught to hate, that his views gradually changed. But, his new friends didn’t “teach” him anything. They just included him in their daily lives, and made him feel safe and welcomed and he came to his own conclusions.

Together, the Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, by Vivek H Murthy. There is so much in this book that I need to reread it again, and take notes. We are social creatures. It’s literally our survival and we hardly realize now much this drives our thinking and actions. I’m not even going to try to say any more, except to recommend that you all read these two books.

There’s also a lot written about the political thinking and divisions. Just google “conservative vs liberal thinking” and you’ll be busy for quite a while.

Bottom line, in my opinion, we need to stop the negativity and bashing of the other side. We are better than this. By all means, VOTE! Work towards your goals, but lets also try to find some kindness and understanding of each other. Instead of being part of the problem, lets work toward being part of the solution.

</end rant>

Posted in Panama | 12 Comments

Moving Forward

I haven’t written much lately, because there hasn’t been much to write. One week is like another and we haven’t seen much change in the country, or in our little world at home. But, last night there were announcements.

There planned changes are:

Right now in many areas, mostly in and near Panama City, people are allowed out all day but still by gender, women on M-W-F and men on Tu-Th-Sa. As of September 14, the restriction by gender will be lifted and people can go out on any day. The curfew will continue, however, from 11PM – 5AM. A salvoconducto (safe conduct or permission to be out) will only be needed for workers who need to be out during the curfew hours.

On September 21 sports activities will be allowed, but without the public.

On September 28, retail stores, restaurants, and inns will be open to people (apparently for shopping in the store, not just ordering and picking up at the door, and for dining in a restaurant, not just take out). Professional services, administrative and general services will resume, as will national aviation, and family activities at the beaches, rivers, and parks. The racetrack can resume, but without the public. (we have a racetrack?!)

On October 12 there will be no more curfew. People can go out any time on any day.  Also to resume – international flights, hotels, hostels and other lodging sites and related tourist activities, and recreational and tourist transport. Also to resume, creative and cultural activities, music, art, libraries, swimming pools, and the national lottery.

Dates are still to be determined for opening schools, universities, and child care services. Also waiting are movie theaters, other theaters, museums, tourist sites, casinos, bars, discotheques, concerts, fairs, parades, and other such activities.

Health related measures must still be strictly followed by everyone! It is stressed that the safety of the people is the most important, and everything must be done to keep everyone healthy and safe so the country can continue to move forward.

So, this is the plan at the moment. Of course there will be questions about details but the general direction is clear. But, we have seen it happen in the past when they reopened some things, that the cases of the virus went up and everything came to a screeching halt for weeks and weeks. I figure we can’t count on anything this time either, but this is definitely a hopeful sign. The authorities have done more and more testing, and are very serious about contact tracing. There continue to be more cases but the number of people in the hospital has remained stable, and the transmission rate has fallen below the ratio of one person infecting one more. There are hopeful signs!

For us, nothing much is changing. Travel to the US and live music, the things that affect us personally, are still way out there in the future. Thankfully we are happy at home indefinitely, and have everything we need. So, now we wait and see what happens to the country, and to the rest of the world. Be careful out there, and take good care of yourselves and each other!

 

Posted in Panama | 12 Comments

Give Some Help

Get some help.. Give some help… that’s what it’s all about these days. We’re all going through a crazy time, and a really difficult time for a lot of people. We need to help each other more than ever to get us all through this.

My friend Kayla is an elementary school teacher in Colorado, and they are preparing to go back to school. Reading is a big deal! It opens up the whole world. She wants to teach her students to read and love reading, so she has a large lending library for the students. This is especially important for the many kids who can’t afford books and don’t have any books at home. But, this year is going to be so different with all the changes to try to keep the kids safe and healthy. One of these changes is no more lending library, no more book sharing.

So, Kayla is asking for help. She has found Scholastic Book Clubs. $16 will sponsor a student for a year and provide them with a new book every month. This is their book to keep, to read, to take home, and to enjoy. I remember that books were some of my most prized possessions as a kid, and I can imagine how much this will mean to a student. Now, especially, when people are struggling financially, emotionally, and psychologically it is even more important to have a world of books to enjoy.

There is a lot of information on the website about how this book club thing works. Here’s one page with the basics – https://scholastic.force.com/parentfaqs/s/article/How-Book-Clubs-Works  They are able to buy publishing rights for books for schools, so this program can provide low cost books only for school use. It’s a really cool idea not only for these difficult times, but for any time.

So, contact my friend Kayla to get involved and contribute to her book fund for the students (Venmo or Paypal)

On Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kayla.terasas

By Email – kaylaterasas@gmail.com

Thank you all! I’ve known Kayla for quite a few years. She is a kind and generous person who loves teaching, and loves all of her precious students. It doesn’t seem like much money to many of us, but stepping up to support her efforts and the efforts of all the teachers in this difficult time is a very big deal.

 

Posted in Panama | 4 Comments

Plants, Critters

We’re locked down again this weekend. Everything continues to be at a standstill. Numbers are more or less the same day after day, and they are very reluctant to take any more steps to reopen the country under these circumstances. This is so hard on so many people and I’m thankful I don’t have to make those decisions.

We are fine at home. I’m glad we can ride out this crazy time here in Panama.

It’s Sunday morning now, everything calm and quiet except the dogs. They are bored enough to bark at anything and everything, including the neighbor out in his yard. The critters continue to live their lives as usual. Right now there are birds singing everywhere. We have SO many birds!

These huge grasshoppers are cool, but there seem to be more of them this year which worries farmers who don’t appreciate their big appetites.

Some people are very concerned about the wildlife here. We do have a few dangerous things like the fer de lance snake and scorpions, but with some sensible precautions you can reduce the risk of problems. Don’t put your hands where you can’t see. Shake out clothes, shoes, and towels before using. The wildlife would rather escape than attack so don’t put anything in an impossible position. That said though, I had a lot more trouble in Florida where I was always getting bitten or stung by something. Here it rarely happens. I mostly get bitten by one of the many, many varieties ants (which wouldn’t happen if I didn’t disturb them while puttering around in the yard).

Joel keeps some wood scraps behind the house and it’s a popular location with the scorpions. A sting is painful but not deadly.

Cane toads are also something new to me, It seems like I’ve seen more in the last few years, or maybe I’m more aware of them since we have a dog. (A Cane Toad Can Kill Your Dog) Thankfully she totally ignores them. I was sitting at my table on the terrace early one morning, and heard a “plop” on the low shelf by my foot. It was one of the most ginormous cane toads I’d ever seen! It was huge! And slow… I chased it around with the broom trying to send it to the yard instead of the laundry room. It was so slow I ended up pushing it around like a rock. I finally got it off the terrace, and later I saw it hopping slowly towards the fence on the far side of the yard.

Speaking of huge, our produce guy gave me the biggest mango I’ve ever seen.  If it’s as good as I expect, the seed (with some of the fruit) will go to my friend so she can plant it on her land.

yes that’s an ordinary size pencil next to it

Oh, I said plants too, didn’t I? I believe this is some sort of agave. It’s putting up a big stalk and I noticed this week that it’s making flower buds. It will be interesting to see how it proceeds. I’ve seen others around town that make flowers like this, and then the flowers develop into many baby plants.

So, this is about all that’s going on around here. Days fly by and I always seem to keep busy. But, one day is a lot like another which doesn’t define the time much, so it seems to just slip by so quickly.

We’re all going to look back on this as the most insane year! Hopefully we’ll all be here to look back. Take good care of yourselves and each other.

Posted in Panama | 6 Comments

Get Some Help

We are in a pandemic and all the restrictions that go with it, but things still need to get done. For us, the license plate on the car was due to expire. It’s not a big deal – gather the paperwork, get the required inspection, and then go to the municipio (city offices) for the new plates (or, right now, a document since there are no new plates). But, we didn’t feel like doing it, so…

Eduardo Horna!  He’s our friend (8 years now), the property manager for our landlord, a tour guide, translator, driver, errand guy, and your guy to get just about anything done.

RioChiriqui@gmail.com 

It was great! He stopped by for the paperwork and some cash. A couple hours later, while we stayed comfortably at home doing our own thing, he returned with everything done.

He took care of our other car last month, and a couple months before that when things were really locked down and complicated, he located a new air conditioner for us (it was the end of summer and HOT, and ours bit the dust). He also helped us get our car to the shop last week for maintenance and some fixes.

It’s really nice to have someone you can count on. Eduardo is responsible, easy to work with, easy to get along with, and he knows his way around Chiriqui and how to get things done. He’s totally fluent in English which makes communication a lot easier.

In this risky time, avoid activities outside the home when you can. If you just don’t want the hassle of some things, find someone to help. If you are doing OK, give work to those who need it when you can. It’s a win-win thing on every level.

This is a very old video, but at least you can see who I’m talking about –

Eduardo’s email is RioChiriqui@gmail.com  or you can leave a comment and I’ll help you get in touch.

 

Posted in Panama | 5 Comments