Catching up again – machetes, hurricaines, travel, and skype

Sunday 10/28/2012
Yes, you can cut the lawn with a machete
This seems to go on a lot around here, lawn care by machete. Lawn care by machete and weed wacker is also common. I met a guy working in our neighborhood the other day. He has a bicycle with a trailer, and in the trailer are a couple weed wackers and machetes. Some homeowners with more upscale homes seem to have lawn mowers but among the average locals, no.
I have boots and a machete, so why not give it a try? It is surprisingly effective! I have more weeds than grass in my back yard and they are starting to get out of hand. A few swipes of the machete and the weeds are considerably shorter! I really don’t want to buy a lawn mower after all the years without one, so I think I have a solution. Until I get the place replanted in mani (aka perennial peanut, same thing we had in FL), it’s machete time.
There are no hurricanes in Panama.
This is true. We are out of any hurricane paths. But, this does not mean we don’t feel the effects. When Sandy was northeast of us, it rained for two days straight, often raining very hard. Rivers overflowed and there was flooding in some parts of the country. The rain is warm and not unpleasant but I was getting tired of driving in it to get things done.
Don’t get me wrong! I am very thankful, especially now as I see the east coast preparing for what might be a huge situation. It would be nice if no one ever had to deal with a hurricane. I’m not going to miss all that for sure, but I never thought about us being close enough to get a good soaking if one happens to be nearby. It’s pretty hard to complain about any of it though, when I think about how many people are watching Sandy bear down on them.
Back to the US
Other than that, it’s been quiet the last couple days. My traveling companion left for a visit to Boquete, so I have been working hard on the house. I got oil paint for the doors and storage areas on the back bedroom and wanted to get that done so it would be dry and less smelly when we all come in. I tried to clean and organize the house in general a little. It’s definitely a work in progress but hopefully it will be tolerable. The new paint on the doors sure looks good!
I continue to be impressed with the kindness of the Panamanian people around me. I went to the neighbors to let them know I was going to be away for a few days. They said they would watch the house. And, they called a taxi driver friend to take me to the airport, gave me the phone numbers of their favorite taxi drivers, and wrote out directions to the house if I need to call and direct the taxi driver, something I’m not sure about doing over the phone in my limited Spanish. What nice people.
Skype
Skype is a wonderful thing. I “had dinner” with one of my daughters yesterday. She was on the computer screen in front of me, but we were almost as together as if we were in the same place. She gave me a tour of her new house. I showed her the papaya I was eating. I could have given her a tour of my house too but I’m still stuck to a cable until the router gets down here.
I bought a plan on skype where I have a USA phone number and I can call anywhere in the US as much as I want. I can’t remember how much it was, but a year was about half what I paid for my cell phone in the US for a month. OK, so my old cell phone was a smart phone with internet and all that, but still, in Panama, my internet/TV, my cell phone, and my skype plan all together are a lot less than what I paid for just the phone. The internet and TV, if I remember, are about $35/month. One of these days I’ll have to start an accounting of all our expenses, just to see how big the different is from what we used to pay to live.
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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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