Sometimes Luck Smiles on You

Today has been a really good day in spite of some problems. Or, maybe I should say the problems were so much less because of some good things.

Yesterday we had plans to do laundry. But…. no water. The water was still out this morning but there was a heavy equipment trailer parked down the road. Word was that they were digging up pipes so they could repair something.

Yesterday it rained and gave us water for washing all the dishes, flushing toilets, filling empty gallons, and filling two 5 gallon buckets for later so we were feeling good. (We keep about 10 one gallon milk jugs and a half dozen 2 liter bottles of water on hand at all times for these water outages. They don’t happen as much as they used to when we first arrived, but I feel much better having a supply just in case)

This morning I set off on my bike towards Aquacatal and parts northwest. It was a spectacular day and I was anxious to be out, not having ridden since Saturday. The fields were green, the sky was blue with pretty puffy white clouds, and the scenery looked like something out of a travel magazine. I passed one green field with two guys on horseback. Then I passed another with three horses just running across the field for the fun of it.

The picture doesn't even begin to do the day justice, but I was having too much of a good time to stop for many photos.

The picture doesn’t even begin to do the day justice, but I was having too much of a good time to stop for a lot of photos.

I noticed some odd noises from the back wheel of my bike and thought seriously about stopping by the shop on my way home. Maybe something happened when I got the chain wedged by the axle on Saturday. I was feeling great though and the bike was still doing fine, so I pedaled on until… thunk… and then it didn’t feel right. I couldn’t see anything out of place, but as soon as I got back on the bike I realized the back wheel wasn’t stable and it wasn’t fit to even coast back to town.

By some huge stroke of luck, just then a bus came along and it even had a roof rack! I removed my panniers, they put the bike up top, and we headed to the bus terminal (cost me a whole $1!). As more luck would have it the bike shop is only a block from the terminal, an easy walk, and it was only 11:30. I could easily make it before the shop closes for lunch. But… no… they were closed when I arrived at 11:43. But one of the bike shop guys was in the shop next door so he took my bike, and I was asked to come back after 2 when the repair guy would be back.

Joel, again, came to my rescue and picked me up from the bike shop. As we got to our neighborhood we passed a water truck. They had filled all the containers that we left in front of the house, and were making their way around the neighborhood helping others who needed a resupply of water. We barely got in the house and discovered the water was flowing again! We made a dash for a most welcome and heavenly shower, cleaned up the kitchen, and filled any empty drinking water containers.

Back to the bike shop… the rear axle was broken, and the rear wheel spokes don’t look so great either so he will change them also, all for $12.

Now that we had water again, I figured it was a good idea to finish making the fish soup I had started. I dug a good yucca root out of the front yard and headed back to the house to discover the water had slowed to barely a trickle *sigh*. OK, quick, wash the lunch dishes, wash the yucca, and double check that all toilets are flushed and all containers are full. No sooner had we finished all this, than the water pressure picked up again.

The water is at full pressure now so it looks like we are OK again. My bike is being fixed and though it had a problem, I made it back to town with no trouble. The fish soup might be my best yet. I started with the bones of a big pargo (red snapper) so there is quite a bit of meat. Then I added a grated plantain (home grown), a nice sliced yucca root (home grown) some onion, celery, carrot, and a little green pepper. Yum. And, in the midst of all this, Enrique came by. He is our produce guy who comes every Tuesday and brings us the freshest fruits and vegetables, and he is a heck of a nice guy too so I’m always glad to see him.

This has nothing to do with anything today. It was taken on the way to Boquete last Saturday, I found it in my phone and liked it, so here it is.

This has nothing to do with anything today. It was taken on the way to Boquete last Saturday, I found it in my phone and liked it, so here it is. That was another very gorgeous day in the Chiriqui mountains of Panama.


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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21 Responses to Sometimes Luck Smiles on You

  1. nickgrimshawe says:

    Gosh darn…you make it all sound so graceful, troubles and all. Love the photos. Loved the story. I guess I need to get serious about finding a place at the right price for me for a few months winter escape. A few post back you mention someone who was looking after a rental you show, which was a wee (just a wee bit over my budget) and I wonder if they would be a good source for helping find something suitable.



  2. Robert & Helen says:

    Yes when we lived in the Caribbean we had many water shortages. Here in Jardines de Boquete with about 55 houses we have a water tank of 20k gallons on heigh stilts. It is supplied by a well.
    Very nice quality and clean. Up to you where you live, but I would install a 300 gallon tank with a small pump. Not expensive. David is expanding a lot. The owner of the house would like and it might be an argument not to increase the rent for a couple of years. Matter of give and take.


    • We’ve thought about it but with just the two of us, we’ve gotten good at managing for a couple days with no problem. Thankfully we have an excellent landlord, but we also take very good care of his house so it’s a good relationship both ways.


  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    Gotta be a planet alignment thing, we had too much water. And it was under Nena’s 1997 Ford as we exited Lowes Lumber near us in Fort Worth. Same as you, we loaded our purchases and headed home, about 5 miles. The SUV is 19 years old, we have had it 14 of those years so if it quit running on the way, I was going to peel the VIN number off and keep walking. I hated the thought of putting a water pump or radiator in it; too much work.
    Well, it made it, I checked it today and found a pinhole size leak in a $10 hose that was easy to change. I was feeling so thankful that I splurged and bought a new $5 radiator cap to celebrate. I finished repairs just in time for a roast beef lunch that Nena had simmering in the crock pot last night.
    Life is indeed good. I may have to treat myself to some chocolate and peanut butter ice cream for dessert! haha
    Living la vida loca!


  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope to go biking with you some day!


  5. What an adventurous day, one serendipitous event after another – this would be what one could call a very good illustration of synchronicity!


  6. Kris, is David far from the water, my husband does not want PC and hr likes what he heard about David


    • The closest water is Pedregal. There is a marina but it isn’t a very scenic area. The closest beach is La Barqueta. Farther east is Boca Chica, maybe 1 1/2-2 hours away, and beyond that is Las Lajas. Check a map and it will make more sense to you.


    • jim and nena says:

      Hi fdotrool blog,
      Check Coronado, or San Carlos. They are far enough away from Panama City but near enough for shopping trips. Both have expat populations so the prices are somewhat higher. The beach areas around Rio Hato used to be cheap and nice; they are still nice but the prices have jumped up.


  7. Carole says:

    We save the runoff when it ralns as well as collect water in buckets, which we use to water plants. We don’t have piped in water and depend on the rain water to fill our systerns. We only ran out twice in 10 hrs and had to buy water for $300.00. We watch our water consumption and try to save water as much as possible.


    • Wow, expensive water. That would certainly motivate one to be very careful to not waste water. I usually collect rain water for the plants too. I think it’s better for them, not sure if it’s true but it’s easy to do anyway.


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