No More Immigration News

It seems like the recent immigration changes are the biggest topic of conversation lately. Nothing new has happened in the last couple days so I’m happy to turn my attention to just some mundane bits of life that have been my recent experience.

We had an interesting thing in the neighborhood a few days ago. They were filming a reenactment of a crime for a TV show. Apparently there was a home invasion in a nearby town a year or so ago. The neighbors heard the woman screaming, called the police, and they came in time to rescue the family and arrest the criminal.

I stopped by a vacant lot with some huge mango trees the other day, one of the places I go to look for fruit. If mangoes are on the ground and no one is picking them up, I figure they are fair game. I picked up so many last year that I still have some in the freezer.

I’m back to painting class. I’m feeling in a bit of a rut, but I discovered a collection of books at the school and brought one home. I need to learn about techniques, composition, etc. lots of things I haven’t covered yet. I know there is more to it than finding something I like and trying to paint that. But, I did finally finish my latest, a request from a good friend.

Last night we drove up to Boquete. Me3 (Joel’s band) had a gig at Mike’s Global and it was fantastic. With various travel plans they hadn’t played together for a while, and it was like they were on fire with energy. The place was standing room only and the dance floor was packed for every song. It was SO much fun! (If you missed it come back on March 1st. They will be back)

It’s always a beautiful drive into the mountains in the late afternoon. It’s hot and dry down here but in the mountains, even in summer, sometimes there is rain and often there is a wet mist. This can make for fantastic rainbows and last night we were treated to an especially beautiful and vivid one.

Of course if there is an interesting bug I will be reaching for my camera. Joel spotted this one on our potted plants.

It continues to be summer down here. It’s dry, the winds are blowing hard, dust clouds are blowing down the street and my neighbor is very frustrated that it’s impossible to keep her house clean. The cucarones are whistling up a storm, even at times in the daytime.  The water was on long enough to water plants, do some laundry, and clean up the kitchen but now there isn’t a drop coming out of the faucet. We have water on hand so it isn’t a big deal, but it seems to be happening almost every day lately.

Today is the Calbalgata, the horse parade in town. Thousands of horses and riders from everywhere come to participate. I don’t think we are going since we have been before. The Feria is also going on, and we do plan to go with some friends tomorrow afternoon after the sun is lower in the sky, but before the night time crowds arrive. I don’t plan to buy anything because I don’t need anything (my neighbors think this is very strange). It’s always interesting to look at everything though.

Retirement, when you wonder how you ever had time to work.

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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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18 Responses to No More Immigration News

  1. Hi Kris,

    I loved the photos of the mango trees. We have some beauties around here too and fully loaded with fruit. But alas I don’t think any will be ripe in time for me stuff myself with them.
    I’m in my final week. I catch the bus back to Panama City next Sunday.

    I will be reading your blog faithful until I can return here.

    I’ve totally loved it here.

    Nick

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  2. oldsalt1942 says:

    The Calbalgata….an opportunity for people to ride their horses in a crowd while drinking beer.

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  3. Thanks to Seth, my blog reader who knows so much about bugs, this one has been identified as a giant scarlet assassin bug.

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  4. Marilyn says:

    Your painting is gorgeous, Kris – bravo!

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  5. Hugo says:

    Hi Kris,
    I’ve been thinking about the water supply in Panama, not just David, but in other Panamian towns as well, as I read several blogs. In my travels thru the country over the few times I’ve been there. While not looking specifically for water towers, I don’t remember seeing any. Does each town have water towers? If not, as a tower provides water pressure when pumps aren’t running, as it stores a supply, then the water is only supplied when pumps are running & providing pressure. Thus they have to run constantly. Not a solution, but maybe a explanation as to the outages.

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    • I think they tend to build ground storage tanks up on hills. There is a fairly large one not far from us. There is also a fairly large treatment facility in the next town up. But, I think the primary source of water is the rivers either directly or through the city water systems, If the rivers are low we all run short of water. I’m not sure if the water goes out when the tanks run low, or if they do a sort of rolling blackout to conserve water, or both. Many people have water storage tanks for their homes to tide them through the dry times.
      Other areas, especially up in the mountain towns get their water directly from a nearby stream. You often see PVC pipes just lying on the ground supplying water to the homes along their path.

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  6. Hugo says:

    Oh, forgot to say, like the photos, & your painting!

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  7. Ramsey says:

    Hi Kris,
    My wife and I are thinking about moving to Panama (We visited for 2 weeks).
    What worries us is those home invasions we’ve been hearing about.
    She’s from Guatemala and I lived there for 3 years and a half before taking her with me to Canada. We know that Guatemala is much more dangerous than Panama, if it wasn’t, we would go back in a heartbeat.
    However, it seems like the number of crime in Panama is increasing. What can you tell us about crime there? What about those home invasions that are turning violent? In what areas do they occur?
    Importantly, do they happen in apartment buildings or only houses? Do they happen in colonias or only non-gated communities?

    Thanks in advance!

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    • No place is guaranteed safe but IMO, you are safer here than in most places. I know of three cases – one in Boquete, guy drives a Lexus (rich looking people), wasn’t locking the gate or using the security system that was in the house. I can’t remember if the robbers came in and were surprised to find him or exactly what happened, but he got bonked on the head, more shook up than hurt. There was a shooting in Caldera area, but there were rumors that the guy was involved in the drug trade and was targeted. The other I know was an older woman living alone in Potrerillos, again large affluent looking house, not within easy view of neighbors. She was seriously injured but recovered. There have been robberies in Boquete, break in when you are out and toss what they can in a backpack sort of thing but they have put a permanent police checkpoint on the Boquete road, the only way in and out of the area, and this has made a huge difference.
      So, short answer, live a low key life, get in a neighborhood and develop relationships with your neighbors, take normal precautions – lock the house, don’t leave things around that could easily disappear, etc and you should be good. One big incident gets talked about all over, where all the other people living without any problems never make the news.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ramseykal says:

        Thanks for replying!
        You said: “you are safer here than in most places”
        Where is “here” ? David or Panama in general? and “most places”, Panama or other countries?
        If we go to Panama, we’re not sure in what area we would stay yet.

        These house invasions shouldn’t be happening though, even if you’re rich. 😦
        Does having an alarm help?

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        • I’m in David, but I think “here” is Panama in general. There are parts of Panama City and Colon that are best avoided, and I have been warned about neighborhoods in David though I have never felt uneasy myself. “Most places” is based on what I have heard about other countries in the area, like as you said, Guatemala. Though, we have hosted a lot touring cyclists coming through Central America and the only problems we have heard about are stupid things, leaving a bike unlocked outside while you go shopping, or another in the wrong part of town at night and had his camera stolen.
          Yes, it helps to have an alarm, a fence around the house, security covers on doors and windows, and especially a dog. My neighbors have a German shepherd, a very sweet dog but most Panamanians are afraid to even approach the fence because of the dog. I think the best though is to not stand out like you have so much money you won’t miss that cell phone, and make friends with your neighbors. Someone came to our house once earlier than expected and three neighbors came out to ask him what he was doing there.

          Liked by 1 person

          • ramseykal says:

            Thanks for your answer! Just to let you know that the “Notify me of new comments and new posts via email” doesn’t work. I had to keep this page open and reload it daily to see if you replied :).

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            • Well darn, I don’t know what is up with that. I don’t think there is anything I can do from here. It sounds like a WordPress problem but I’ll poke around a bit and see if I can find out anything.

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