Recent News and Catching Up

I’m in the US and the days have been flying by. The main purpose of this trip was to be here for my daughter who was expecting her second child.

We succeeded in getting me here before the baby, but my daughter looked like she should have had the baby already so she wouldn’t burst! But, she didn’t burst, and day after day went by until waiting seemed like normal life and maybe the baby would never come. But then, in the middle of the night her husband woke me to tell me her water broke! The baby was born that afternoon.

Mom is recovering and doing well, dad is there every step of the way, and big sister is taking the whole situation in stride very well. The baby is super chill and rarely cries, and mom and dad have actually been getting some sleep, not a lot but for having a newborn it’s going well.

This has been a really special time for me. For various reasons I was not there when my other grandchildren were born, but this time I have been here for the whole thing including the exciting “time to go to the hospital” moment, and the special coming home with the new baby time. While they were gone it was just my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter and I. We had many days to get to know each other but it’s different when it’s just the two of you. She was great and we had a wonderful time, and this was also very special to me.

I have had a lot of thoughts going around in my head, but writing them down has been a different matter. Family time is precious. Downtime has been spent walking/exercising to the shopping center and practicing some bass. The rest of the time is spent helping out, playing, and just chillin together.

The weather has been just gorgeous! Yesterday a small rainstorm came through and afterward my daughter spotted the rainbow that is in the header photo. It’s been nice for playing outside or just hanging out in the deck.

Oh, and baby was 8 pounds 14 ounces and her name is Penelope (Penny) Jane. It will be interesting to get to know her as she grows. Now she is mostly just a sleeping little angel.

 

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Travel Arrangements

Most of us have family to visit, new places to visit, or other reasons to travel. Joel and I have made a few interesting trips but the majority of my travel is to visit family, especially now that I have grandchildren.

We are in David near the Costa Rica border. There has been talk about flights from a David to the US for as long as I can remember, but there are no signs that this will become a reality in the foreseeable future. So, you have to go to Panama City for an international flight. (Or possibly San Jose, Costa Rica if you find a great deal on tickets). Do you take the bus, fly, or drive?

I have no interest in driving to Panama City, and even less interest in driving IN Panama City. I’ve always taken the bus, gone to the Costa Inn because they have an airport shuttle (affordable hotel with a restaurant on site and breakfast). Sometimes though the timing doesn’t work out and I need something near the airport. (The shuttle only goes at 5 and 8 AM.)

I had been going to the Express Inn (google Express Inn PTY). It’s about $45-50 for a very basic room, but it seems to be going downhill over the last few years. I have more complaints about my last room than I want to list. There are no more takeout menus, and even the guy making less than wonderful sandwiches wasn’t there on my last couple visits. There is nothing in the neighborhood unless you want to walk over to the airport. Breakfast has also become worse and worse. Last time there was only coffee and some little rolls wrapped in cellophane. Check on line or with TripAdvisor for reviews to learn more. My last visit was so uncomfortable that I needed to make a change, but what?

The Riande has a highly recommended hotel near the airport but I thought it cost a lot more than I wanted to pay, usually well over $100. But our travel agent (shout out to Andrea Cook of Viaje Vacations) told me about amoma.com where you can book a room for $70, not much more than the other place but a world above in comfort.

Here’s a few photos:

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. We still need to get to Panama City. There are two airlines. Air Panama lands at Allbrook on the west side if the city, and Copa lands at Tocumen, the international airport east of the city, which makes more sense if you are traveling on.

Keep in mind that a taxi from the city to the airport will run you $30-35 (or get a ride from Luis Arce). The bus is about $15 and takes all day. They make it as comfortable as possible but it’s still a lot of hours. The plane is about $115, but if you can avoid a hotel as well as a taxi ride, the cost is barely more than the bus. Even if you need a hotel, there is still no comparison in comfort. The actual flight is only about 40 minutes! (prices are without the retired people discounts)

I’m afraid I’ve become totally spoiled. I flew to Panama City, stayed at the Riande, and then caught a direct flight to San Francisco which allowed me to travel on to Seattle on the same day and arrive much less tired. I’m all for spending money frugally but sometimes it’s well worth spending a bit more for your comfort.

Check this page to find the people I mentioned, and a few others who are very good to know. https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/2017/06/05/good-people-to-know-in-panama

I made it to Seattle last week, thankfully before the new granddaughter arrived and now we are just hanging out, playing with my other granddaughter, and waiting. I know no one is pregnant forever but these last days…. if baby doesn’t come soon I think my daughter’s tummy is going to pop! But this is also a very special time to share together and I’m glad to be here.

 

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Avocados

This year hasn’t been a good one for fruit. Word is there were storms with too much wind that blew the flowers off the trees. There were almost no mangoes and no cashew apples. Avocados, however, did well and my neighbor’s tree was loaded with fruit.

These are only a couple small views of a large, tall, 20 year old tree. They sold most of the avocados to some guys who came over to pick them, and left with over 1000 avocados!

What do you do with avocados? Here are a couple of my favorites

breakfast

Corn tortilla, scrambled egg, avocado, and limón.

Lunch

Tuna, tomato, avocado, limón – mix it all together and eat.

I’ve also made chocolate avocado mousse.

Of course there is also guacamole, chopped avocado in salad, and on tacos and other Mexican food, and they can also be added to smoothies and other recipes, to name just a few ideas.

While I’m here, I have a few other photos

We have a banana flower. It isn’t long before the flower opens to reveal the developing bananas, and in 2-3 months we should have a large head of bananas.

There are many birds who visit the bird bath. These are the most frequent visitors. They splash around until they look totally wet and bedraggled, and then go up in the tree to flap and dry off, only to come down and repeat the whole bathing procedure again, and again, and again….

Last week I was inspired to do some cleaning on the terrace. I have some shelves next to my table, and a couple shallow boxes where I throw pencils, paper, and other odds and ends. I pulled one out, put it on the table, removed a couple pads of paper to find a surprise!

It was a tiny snake. For reference, that’s the red lid of a peanut butter jar. But according to my snake identification book, it’s a type of pit viper, not a snake I want living on my shelf. I sent it over the wall into the woods but I can’t help but wonder where it came from. Where is mom?

Thst just a few photos I’ve had sitting around but hadn’t gotten to in a while. It’s been busy with a couple band gigs and then a trip back to the US. I’ll be here in the Seattle area for almost a month since there is a new grandbaby expected any time now. Maybe I’ll have time for more blogging, or maybe I’ll be too busy playing with grandchildren. We shall see. 🙂

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Press 1 for English

It’s not easy to learn a new language, especially when you are older. I’ve heard many people in the US say all immigrants need to learn English and they resent the phone menu, press 1 for English, 2 para español.

Of course it’s good to learn the language of your adopted country. Some do, some may be in the process of learning, and others may struggle to learn just some basic phrases. Moving to Panama has been a huge lesson for me in how challenging it is to learn Spanish, and after all this time I still don’t understand everything, and it’s still like a puzzle – how can I put together the words and phrases I know to express what I want to say? Some people have a talent for languages. I am not one of them.

Today I had to call the bank. (Scotiabank)  I transferred money a week ago and it still hadn’t shown up at its destination. I can talk on a lot of subjects, but I don’t have experience with troubleshooting a banking problem. I was filled with pure joy when the menu said marca 1 para español, press 2 for English. A very nice English speaking gal came on the line, asked me a bunch of security questions, asked the problem, tracked down the transaction, made a investigation ticket, and told me it should be resolved in 3 days and they will email me.

It saved me having to ask her to repeat things, explain words I didn’t know, and it made the whole process so much less stressful. It’s challenging enough to talk in person, but so much harder on the phone when you have no visual cues. I remember how excited I was the first time I made a dentist appointment on the phone, and I had been here for months at that time.

I will never resent a US phone menu with the option for Spanish!  I understand that even for someone who speaks a lot of English, it can be a huge help.

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Empathy

I am saddened and disturbed by some things I’ve seen recently. Anthony Bourdain of course comes to mind. He touched the lives of so many with his books and TV shows. I love how he brought people together over food with so much respect and humanity. How much pain must someone be in to see death as a better option? I hate to think. Unfortunately he is only one of many. According to https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/. 123 people A DAY die from suicide in the US.

I also found some videos that I think are appalling but unfortunately all too believable. I myself have seen steady streams of people walk by homeless people like they aren’t there. I know there are so many and you can’t help them all and you get numb from seeing it every day. But, a CHILD? This was a social experiment. They put a young girl on the street on a cold winter day with a cardboard sign. There was a steady stream of people passing. A few gave her a bit of money but the vast majority walked by without giving her as much as a glance. Who stopped? Who sat down next to her and offered help? Another homeless person.

https://rumble.com/v33wta-would-you-help-a-homeless-child.html?mref=96wp&mc=9b3nm&instant

In another experiment they put a very obviously pregnant woman on the street with a sign. She sat there for TWO HOURS while a steady stream of people passed before anyone stopped to help. Who helped? A previously homeless person.

https://rumble.com/v30mrh-the-pregnant-homeless-woman-social-experiment.html?mref=96wp&mrefc=2

I don’t think this would ever happen in Panama. I’ve seen an occasional beggar at the bus stop in Santiago, and probably 1/3 of the people who pass drop a coin or two in the cup. I’ve fallen off my bike or had flat tires and always, every single time, people have come to help. What has happened in the US? I myself have come across people needing help and have invariably been the only one stopping.

I’ve also talked with a lot of homeless people. If I am close enough to make eye contact I will stop. More than appreciation for any offer of help, what I felt was a sincere appreciation that I SAW them, I noticed them, I recognized that they were people. I have experienced what it’s like not to be seen, and it’s a terrible feeling
https://silverwheelsblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/the-homeless-traveler/

It makes me sad to think of what is going on in the US. It looks like we have no empathy. I know there are many good, caring, loving people, but there are so many people suffering alone. If they are outside of our own circle we often don’t know them, don’t see them. Our government who we hope helps our most vulnerable, it seems there is less and less help while the rich get richer and look the other way. We seem to have more and more trouble seeing the sameness in each other instead of the differences, and we seem less willing to give what we have, even if it’s only a little time and conversation.

I don’t have answers. The complexity of the problems and possible solutions are way beyond my pay grade. But, I don’t like feeling ashamed and distressed and frustrated. When I read the news or see videos like these, that is what I feel. No wonder I rarely read the news.

I was in Washington Square (New York) on my way to class one day when I came across the filming of this. There were maybe a couple dozen people watching, and she was less than 15-20 feet from me with speakers on either side of her blasting the music. It’s as powerful today as it was then.

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Giving Back

I saw this pop up on Facebook recently and every red light went off in my brain. Nooooo!

Always here, right? I’d like to see five of my friends post this message (Not share) to show you are always there if someone needs to talk. I think I know who will.

There are a lot of expats here doing wonderful things, supporting charities, giving locals skills so they can raise their standard of living, running spay/neuter clinics which have drastically decreased the stray animal population, helping orphans and the handicapped, shipping in donated medical equipment, cleaning up beaches and other areas…. I’m sure I know only a small fraction of what people are doing.

Thats really wonderful but unfortunately, not for me. I was a nurse for decades, often battling burnout and the stresses of the job. I dropped out twice to recover and regroup. I wanted to be a medical professional all my life. I wanted to be useful, to do something to help others, to make a positive impact in my little corner of the world. I feel I did that and I touched countless people, and hopefully made their journey a bit easier. I also learned a lot, especially the value of health and life itself and how quickly that can all change.

Nurses must walk a very fine line. You can’t connect with people without caring but if you care too much, you crumble under the weight of it all. I’ve been present at many births and many deaths, profound experiences that I’m grateful for. The hardest though, for me, is the suffering of the patient and the family, usually as they make slow progress towards death. You do what you can but you are basically helpless.

Buddhism helped me enormously, not that I’m a great Buddhist by any means but still, it helped me see life as a deep and peaceful thing with waves only on the top. Sometimes the waves knocked me down and my emotions got the better of me, but knowing it’s only surface disturbance helped. I was able to care about my patients better without letting their suffering rattle me as much. I learned that it’s ok to just let things be, to just be there even if you can’t alter the course of their path.

But, even with all that, by the time I retired I was totally drained dry. I haven’t even mentioned the deteriorating US health care system, the tons of documention required to get paid and prove we aren’t commiting fraud, and the constant push to do more with less. Along with the patients and their issues, I got to watch the increasing stress of my fellow nurses and coworkers as they struggled to provide adequate care and keep the office doors open.

I thought when I was away for a while, I’d start to regain my emotional energy but it’s been well over 5 years and it’s not happening. I feel guilty that I can’t contribute much. I can’t be one of those people who is always there when someone needs to talk. I think one of the hardest things for women and for nurses is learning to take care of ourselves first. We are always putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own and sooner or later we pay a steep price for that. I value my friends and appreciate them in my life. I want to be there for people. I’m just limited in what I can do. I suppose this is something we all need to figure out. What level of involvement is healthy for us?

Ok, I’ve said my piece and I hope I wasn’t too obnoxious to my friend on Facebook 🤭

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A Year with a Dog and a Bass Guitar.

Avioneta has been with us for a year now. I met her when she had been hit by a car and injured her foot. I got her vet care and bandaged her wound, and later took her to the spay and neuter clinic but left her where she was, never intending to take her home. The story is in an old post here. 

But, later, the trucking firm where the guys looked out for her moved away. They were going to leave her alone in the street and I couldn’t let that happen, so she came to live here.

She is a wonderful dog! She is sweet and affectionate with us, but very protective and aggressive with anyone she doesn’t know. She’s intelligent, well behaved, follows directions, doesn’t chew things, bother the trash, or pee in the house. Well there was that one time when it was thundering which she hates, and rather than go out she peed next to the toilet. At first she wanted to dash out the gate whenever she could, and she seemed worried when we left her alone. Now though she is much more relaxed, never lunges for the gate, and with a treat as we leave she almost seems happy when we go (but she’s very happy when we come back too).

So, life with the dog is going well and we are happy to have her.

Then, there is the bass guitar. I first picked it up somewhere in early or mid June of last year. The former bass player kept going to Colombia and it became increasing obvious that the band needed a substitute bassist. The only other bass players in the area are excellent and very busy with commitments to other bands. I grew up playing classical piano so I have some knowledge, and maybe I could figure out this thing with strings. Joel had a bass guitar gathering dust so he got it out and put it in my hands.

At first I was totally awkward. My fingers didn’t do what I told them to or worse, I didn’t know what to tell them to do. But, little by little, I learned. To my surprise, some songs I like have very simple bass parts. I started learning a few others that were more challenging. I saw on my blog that on July 7th I said I was learning so I must have been encouraged enough to think it was going to work out.

Once I said yes, I had until mid September to get ready.  All day, every day was spent practicing. I went to the US in July to visit kids, bought a cheap bass there and while they worked, I practiced. I came back in August and Joel and I started practicing together, and then we put it all together with Chris, our drummer.

The first gig went well! Thank goodness, since everyone in town turned out. I didn’t know I had so many wonderful, supportive friends! Almost immediately I was upgraded to full time bass player, which freed the other guy to move to Colombia which he did soon after, so it worked out for everyone.

Now, a year later, I’m starting to feel like a real bass player. It’s been a process though. I still practice every day, sometimes most of the day. Joel is self taught and I’m conservatory trained so we have had to learn each other’s languages and how to communicate. He has spent countless hours working with me on the music and other aspects of a band, equipment, lights, setting up on stage, trouble shooting, etc etc. There is a lot more that goes on than you would think!

Just in the last few weeks, it feels like something clicked with me and the band as a whole. At first it was a job and I didn’t want to screw it up, but now I’m part of creating music. We have some really cool material that is a blast to play. Joel is singing better than ever and Chris, a relatively new singer, is getting better and better all the time. We are getting tight and more professional as a group. We have made some wonderful friends in the music community, and have had the opportunity to play with some awesome musicians who sit in with us now and then, which is a wonderful experience for me and very inspiring.

Also important, I’m getting a better music – life balance. This has also been a process as I went from the very intense push to get ready to now, when I actually have some “chops” and we have more material than we can play in two evenings. Now I’m making more time for gardening, biking, friends, and other interests, and I’ve even taken an occasional day off from practicing. Maybe I can write in the blog a bit more often too.

If someone had told me I’d retire, live in Panama, have a dog named Little Airplane, and play bass in a rock band….  uh huh, right 😁 You  never know what’s around the next corner.

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Shopping for Produce

Food and housing are usually the biggest expenses of daily living. Here in Panama I hear a variety of comments from – living here is so much cheaper, to – it’s more expensive here than in the US!

We are very lucky to live in Chiriquí where the majority of the produce is grown. There are numerous roadside stands, people selling produce out of the back of a truck, and there is our friend Enrique who comes to our door every week with his truck loaded with fruits and vegetables. Supermarkets also sell produce, as does Pricesmart, our version of Costco.

What you buy and where you buy it can make a huge difference. You can find pretty much anything you want here, but if it’s imported it will be expensive. I thought I had to have sweet potatoes so I bought these two smallish ones in El Rey supermarket.

That comes out to $2.60 per pound. I remember being shocked at what sweet potatoes cost in the US so maybe this is a good price, but here it’s in the expensive treats category. They were very good though. There are usually employees hanging around so I don’t feel comfortable snapping photos, but I was surprised at some of the other prices, like $3 for a tiny head of cauliflower with brown spots. For comparison, Enrique weighed a good size head and said it would cost $1.25, and it was super fresh.

We have bought produce at Super Barú occasionally because their prices aren’t too bad, and it was convenient. Prices at Pricesmart also seem better except for things like blueberries or cherries that you would expect to pay a lot for. Generally though we almost never buy produce in a supermarket.

We do buy chicken at El Rey though. They have price control chickens for 2.60/kg or $1.18/lb and they are really good. If we get a nice plump one for $6+, it’s good for four meals, and then soup or a batch of dog food.

I suppose it’s like anywhere. You learn to shop where you can find decent prices on the things you buy the most. The best plan of all is to find a tight fisted Panamanian and go shopping with them! One friend found what she thought was the cheapest market in town, and then would only go when she knew the trucks were arriving with the freshest produce.

For us, at our age and money not being super tight, convenience is becoming a bigger factor in our decisions. My friend’s market may save us a couple dollars but it’s not worth the hassle of driving downtown. Someone who knows what we like and stashes the freshest broccoli under the seat just for us, oh yes.

I think this cost $16-17, if I remember correctly. Broccoli, cauliflower, chayote (a mild squash like veggie), cucumbers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, and passion fruit (a bit expensive but I love it!) all fresh this morning and delivered to our door.

We feel that we eat well here – healthy, delicious, locally grown food and we don’t break the bank to do it. Thankfully we both have a lifetime of experience of getting the most value for our money, and we enjoy our own cooking more than eating out, so we feel fortunate rather than deprived of anything.

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Dengue and Other Tropical Diseases

Life in Panama is not without risk of some nasty tropical diseases. The easily identified, beautiful, but potentially deadly aedes aegypti mosquito lives here and can carry dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever, a disease that killed so many who came to build the canal.

Thankfully, yellow fever is no longer a problem, and I think the risk of other diseases is relatively low in this area but it is still present. As the notice below states, they have confirmed 17 cases of dengue in Chiriquí.

MINSA, the Panamanian health department, has been working hard to control mosquitoes and and educate the public. They were here last week inspecting yards for standing water, and they fined a neighbor who had water collected in their pool cover. I have a sticker on my door from past visits when they talked with me.

Yesterday, Radio Chiriquí posted this on their Facebook page:

MINSA ADVIERTE SOBRE RIESGO DEL DENGUE

El nivel de infestación del mosquito aedes aegypti en la provincia de Chiriquí aumentó la semana pasada a 2.4% y a 17 el número de casos confirmados de dengue, informó el Jefe Regional de Control de Vectores, Tec. Patricio Camarena.

En el Barrio Estudiante de La Concepción: nueve de cada cien viviendas inspeccionadas por el Ministerio de Salud estaban infestadas del aedes aegypti, vector transmisor de los virus del dengue, del zika, del chikungunya y de la fiebre amarilla.

En el barrio San Mateo y en la Barriada San José la infestación del aedes aegypti era de 5.4%; en Victoriano Lorenzo y Portachuelo del 4%; en Doleguita del 3%, en Pedregal del 2.8% y en Caimito de Dolega 3.8%.

El funcionario advirtió que por ser un área de tránsito nacional e internacional, la provincia de Chiriquí enfrenta la amenaza del contagio de dengue y otras enfermedades transmisibles.

Mañana (22) Control de Vectores realiza una masiva inspección y nebulización de insecticidas en el corregimiento de Las Lomas y el próximo jueves en Pedregal, informó el Tec. Camarena.

“Seguimos trabajando día y noche, con énfasis en áreas donde registran casos de dengue y altos niveles de infestación de aedes; pero la participación de la ciudadanía es vital para el control de esta amenaza”, expresó Camarena.

Cualquier objeto que retenga agua bajo sombra es un potencial criadero del aedes aegypti y estos insectos pueden volar cientos de metros, agregó el Tec. Camarena; quien advirtió que los insecticidas solo exterminan mosquitos adultos.

very roughly translated by Google,  because I don’t feel like writing it out… 😑

MINSA WARNS ON THE RISK OF DENGUE
The level of infestation of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the province of Chiriqui increased last week to 2.4% and to 17 the number of confirmed cases of dengue, said the Chief of Vector Control, Tec. Patricio Camarena.
In the Student District of La Concepción: nine out of every hundred homes inspected by the Ministry of Health were infested with aedes aegypti, vector transmitter of the dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses.
In the San Mateo neighborhood and in the San José neighborhood, the aedes aegypti infestation was 5.4%; in Victoriano Lorenzo and Portachuelo of 4%; in Doleguita of 3%, in Pedregal of 2.8% and in Caimito de Dolega 3.8%.
The official warned that because it is an area of ​​national and international transit, the province of Chiriqui faces the threat of contagion of dengue and other communicable diseases.
Tomorrow (22) Control of Vectors performs a massive inspection and nebulization of insecticides in the village of Las Lomas and next Thursday in Pedregal, Tec. Camarena reported.
“We continue working day and night, with emphasis in areas where they register cases of dengue and high levels of aedes infestation; but the participation of citizens is vital to control this threat, “said Camarena.
Any object that retains water under shade is a potential breeding ground for Aedes aegypti and these insects can fly hundreds of meters, added Tec. Camarena; who warned that insecticides only exterminate adult mosquitoes.

I really appreciate that they are working hard on mosquito control! A friend in Pedasi got Dengue and it was no fun at all. Other friends in Nicaragua and Ecuador had chikungunya and so much joint pain they couldn’t do simple things to take care of themselves, and it seems like it went on forever. Thankfully I am very aware of mosquito control from living in Florida. I carry bug repellant in my gardening bucket, and have more at my “outside office”. It would be a bummer to derail my happy life with one of these diseases.

If you want to learn more, I’m sure google will turn up lots of info. And, don’t think this is an issue only in the tropics! These mosquitoes and the potential for their diseases can be found in the southern US also, and they seem to be adapting to colder climates so they can continue their progression north. Be vigilant about eliminating standing water and protecting yourself. The consequences can be more than an itchy bite.

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Define Freedom

I had an interesting conversation with a Panamanian friend. Her son and other family members are visiting his wife’s brother and family in Colorado. He said it’s beautiful there, so clean and orderly. The yards all look nice, and there are no dogs in the streets. I explained to my friend that if you don’t keep your yard cleaned up, you may hear from the neighborhood association. If your dog is running in the street, it will be taken to the dog place where you have to pay to get it back. If the dog is barking you may get a visit from the police. She was amazed. How could this be??

We are from the USA, Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave, so says our national anthem. But, what do we mean by freedom? How free are we really in the US? Even the little things, like your homeowners association telling you what you can and can’t do on your own property, and yes your dog can be sent to the pound of it’s running loose. We seem to be very concerned about bothering and being bothered by the neighbors and we have all sorts of rules and expectations.

Panama is quite different. Our neighbors had an outdoor party with music that went on until 4AM. The other neighbors just went to sleep. We play rock music all the time here and the neighbors insist that they like it. Working in front of your home is very common – turning logs into lumber, making furniture, repairing and painting cars, making concrete sinks, bathing the kids, cooking food over a wood fire, welding gates, and repairing small engines to name just a few things I saw recently. Yards are maintained, sort of, but no one complains until grass is so high you can’t see cars coming around the corner. Yard trash is routinely dumped in the nearest vacant lot or unoccupied bit of land. I’ve had to learn how to manage aggressive dogs in the streets who don’t like bikes.

Everything is a trade off. Do you want things to look a certain way, or do you feel better when you are free to let things go if you wish? I am a foreigner here so I cannot get involved in politics and I don’t know enough to speak intelligently on the subject, but it seems the people have at least as much freedom to express themselves and make their voices heard, and everyone votes.

There is freedom from being ruined by lack of health care, or health care costs. This is huge for me as one of the uninsured for most of my life. You don’t worry about being shot, or assaulted. Yes there is crime, usually theft and crimes of opportunity but we worry about it much less here. We worry about pretty much nothing, and it’s a great feeling. I never knew I suffered from lack of freedom until I came here and experienced something so different. And, most important you are free to be yourself, even if you are quite different in many ways. Nobody cares and they accept you as you are.

You are not free from rain and humidity though! Sunday night in Boquete was warmer but very muggy and damp. Yesterday and today in David have been very pleasant but the rains came at sundown last night and poured like crazy for a while, and then rained steadily into the night.

I’m happy to report that my eye problem that I blogged about in my last post is better. It’s not totally normal but there is definite improvement since Friday. yay!

Life in Panama. For us, it’s a very good life.

Posted in Panama | 15 Comments