Tree Cleanup

Last Friday on a really windy day, part of a huge tree fell into our yard. It just happened that our landlord was on vacation in Chiriqui (he and his family live in Panama City). We had only met briefly some time ago so I didn’t recognize him when he showed up on Saturday morning to see the damage and plan for cleanup.

After a few messages to confirm plans and time, he arrived on Monday morning with his brother, and a workman with chainsaw and machete in hand. This began a very fun day. Teo, our landlord sent me many photos and most of these are his (thank you Teo!). I was glad because I missed part of the day. I went off for a planned meeting with folks from International Living who showed up 40 minutes late (no apologies), and proceeded to ask me all the same questions I’d been asked in previous interviews *sigh*.

Anyway, you would be amazed at what a strong and capable Panamanian man can do in a short time!

We tend to be lazy in our retirement and not get up early, and Joel was just starting breakfast when the work begun. He wasn’t about to let some hard working guys smell bacon and not share, so there was a breakfast break mid morning.

Teo, our landlord, standing and his brother Alvin talking, while the workman looks at his phone

Teo, our landlord, standing and his brother Alvin talking, while the workman looks at his phone

When I got back home from my meeting, I was amazed at how much had been done! There were only leaves and twigs left.

We were very thankful that our landlord was in the area. He and his brother arranged all the cleanup and consulted with Lucho our friend and neighbor. Later Lucho will rebuild the wall and fence. The tree is on land owned by the government, and it still has some very large limbs that could come down. The concern is that the tree is diseased and weakened which is why it broke, and the other limbs should also be cut before they fall. No one wants to repair the fence until this is done and as owners of the land, it is the government’s responsibility to cut the tree, and also pay for the damage on this property.

This is one big reason why it’s nice to rent. It would have been quite a task for us to figure all this out and make all the necessary arrangements!

Anyway, you can’t expect hard working guys to get things done with no fuel. When I came back Joel had put together some lunch for everyone.

From the left, the workman, Alvin, Teo, Joel, and Lucho

From the left, the workman, Alvin, Teo, Joel, and Lucho

I had SO much fun! We all talked and laughed at meal times, and I spent most of the rest of the time talking with Alvin and some with Teo. Teo also speaks English so he and Joel were able to communicate easily. Alvin lives just up the road in Dolega so who knows. We might see more of each other in the future.

What a great silver lining in the cloud of the tree incident. Up to now communication was always through our realtor which is fine, but I’m happy to have these great new friends. Hopefully in the future Teo and his family won’t hesitate to visit when they are in the area. They never wanted to bother us, but it certainly wouldn’t be a bother for us to see them again.

Tomorrow we are heading to Panama City and then to Cuba on Friday. We are supposed to have internet but who knows. Or more likely, we will be too busy seeing the sights and experiencing the country to spend time on line. I will return eventually though! Meanwhile you all continue with the sentiments of yesterday and send loving greetings. We never need to wait for a holiday on the calendar to do that.


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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18 Responses to Tree Cleanup

  1. Great story – you got a tree cleanup and great new friends in the bargain! We can’t wait to hear all about your Cuba trip. Buen viaje!


  2. Fantastic work! The human termites! Can’t wait to hear about your trip to Cuba. Four more weeks until we go. Safe travels.


  3. oldsalt1942 says:

    People who don’t live here in Panama might not know, but it’s quite a deal to have a chain saw here. Because of illegal logging a person has to jump through an amazing number of hoops to be able to own one. It’s almost as bad as what a person has to do in order to have a gun here. They’re both legal, but they don’t make it easy for you to own one.


    • Yes, I had heard that before. I was told this guy has done this work all his life and is an expert, so that’s probably why he has one. Usually though, as you know, guys only have a machete but they are still able to do a heck of a lot.


  4. Have fun and stay safe on your journey! Cant wait to see pictures when you get back online!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sunni Morris says:

    Have fun and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    Great post. This is how it should be everywhere. We fed our tree crews when they came though Fort Worth but I am sure that most folks don’t do that.
    Will this story make it into your IL interview? THAT would be an eye opener for them.
    Enjoy the trip to Cuba, can’t wait to see the photos.


    • I think it’s customary to feed people working on your property here. I could have run down to a local eatery for takeout but Joel beat me to it.
      Good idea. I should send people who want to know about me to the blog. The Why Panama page would have answered most of their questions right there.
      Thanks, I’ll be posting about Cuba for sure


  7. Great post Kris! And off to Cuba are you? I’ll be expecting at least one post about that adventure! Safe Travels, Alia


  8. What a great adventure you are on – I look forward to following your future trips 🙂


  9. always look forward to your posts … and look forward to our new life in Panama in a couple years … making progress 🙂


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